Skip to content

Review: The Ocean Between Us

April 27, 2010

Grace and Steve Bennett have been married for twenty years and they have three children in high school.  Steve is a career Naval officer and his career has taken precedence over everything else in the family’s life.  They’ve just moved to Washington state and Grace starts to feel the need to put down roots and begins to question all the sacrifices the family has made for Steve’s career.

On the eve of Steve’s deployment, the family finds out some shocking news, so the relationship between Steve and Grace is strained as he leaves.  Several things happen while Steve is gone that test their strength, their love and their resolve as a family.

Deep down inside, The Ocean Between Us by Susan Wiggs is a love story.   It’s not the story of a new romantic love, but rather the story of a deep, abiding love, and I thought it was just wonderful.  The book was a quick read, because I found myself so engrossed in the story.

I could relate to Grace so much.  Even though Carl’s not in the service, we have moved a lot for his career, and I know what it’s like to pack up, leave friends behind and start all over in a new place.  I know what it’s like to set aside your own needs to try to get your family settled and happy in a new place.  I also know what it’s like to appreciate all the opportunities those moves afford you – meeting new people and experiencing new places and things.  I totally got it when Grace wondered whether giving up her own dreams to pursue her husband’s had been too much of a sacrifice.

I could also relate to the Bennetts’ three children, since my own father served in the Navy.  My father retired when I was fairly young and he mostly had shore duty after I was born, but I do remember picking him up after a long deployment on an aircraft carrier, and wondering if I would recognize him when I saw him again.  The children also made me think of Vance and the moves he’s had to make throughout his life.

Overall, I liked The Ocean Between Us a lot and what I liked the most about it was the deep sense of love and respect the Bennetts had for each other and the way they learned to appreciate each other.  I think Susan Wiggs did a fantastic job of portraying the life of a service family.  This book was an emotional read for me – it made me cry several times, especially at the end.  It serves as a reminder that when someone is enlisted in the military, their whole family serves and makes sacrifices.

Challenges: What’s in a Name? 3 Challenge

Review copy provided by Big Honcho Media.   I am an Indiebound Affliate.

Shop Indie Bookstores

Bookmark and Share

34 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2010 7:14 am


    thanks so much for this review–i want to buy the book for my two friends–their husbands are in the navy.

    i met the girls when they were stationed in new jersey and couldn’t get over the fact that the guys would be deployed for over 9+ months at a stretch!!

    i spent a ton of time with the girls while their hubbys were serving our country–one was from oregon and the other from wisconsin. i was so sad when they left after 3 years but still see them both once every year or two.

    this book sounds like the perfect read for them.

  2. April 27, 2010 7:30 am

    I can tell how much you appreciated this book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  3. April 27, 2010 7:40 am

    WOW – this sounds fabulous and very applicable to my life at the moment.

  4. April 27, 2010 7:45 am

    This books sounds great! And it sounds like the perfect book for my friend Patty (her husband’s in the army and they are always having to deal with his deployments). Thanks!!

  5. April 27, 2010 8:37 am

    I can’t imagine how all that moving around affects a family. I have only moved once from my home town and that was traumatic enough.

  6. April 27, 2010 8:57 am

    Oh wow, this does look good. I didn’t move much in my childhood, but I did move a lot in my young adulthood. I like the opportunities moving brings and I also can relate to the negatives.

  7. April 27, 2010 9:02 am

    I like the sound of this book, Kathy. I have enjoyed other books by Susan Wiggs. She has a very heartwarming touch I think.

  8. April 27, 2010 10:48 am

    I’ve never read one of her books but have heard nothing but good things about them.

  9. April 27, 2010 12:07 pm

    I haven’t moved much in my life, and am not related to anyone in the military, but I do stay home and my life is centered on my kids and my husband’s career. I’m OK with that, but sometimes I do have to remind myself about the greater good! You’ve convinced me that this is worthy of my time!

  10. April 27, 2010 1:21 pm

    sounds like a deeper book than the cover would lead you to believe. Nice review.

  11. April 27, 2010 1:24 pm

    I just read another review of this the other day and thought it sounded interesting. I like the fact that it deals with a military family, and since I have little knowledge of what it must be like to live in one, I think this would make a really enlightening read for me. Great review, Kathy! I am so glad that you liked the book. After reading your review I will definitely be picking it up! Thanks!

  12. April 27, 2010 1:27 pm

    I read a few of Susan Wiggs historical romances several years ago and liked them a lot. Sounds like this novel really resonated with you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  13. April 27, 2010 1:41 pm

    This sounds like an excellent read. I’m a retired Navy wife so I know all too well the sacrifices and separations. I’ll have to put this on my wish list for sure! Thanks for the great review!

  14. April 27, 2010 1:46 pm

    Great review, Kathy, as clear and concise as always. This book sounds too good to pass up. 🙂

  15. April 27, 2010 2:13 pm

    I do love Susan Wigg’s books and have not read any in a long time. But your lovely review makes me want to read her again.

  16. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 27, 2010 2:20 pm

    It’s so great that this book hit such a personal note for you. I love it when that happens!

  17. April 27, 2010 4:17 pm

    I like Susan Wiggs when I want something easy to read, and enjoyed this one because, like so many commenters here, I’ve been a Navy wife and it brought a lot of that back.

  18. April 27, 2010 4:22 pm

    What a nice prize, I would love to read the book too.


  19. Kathleen permalink
    April 27, 2010 4:28 pm

    This sounds really good. I’m more of a “nester” and can’t imagine the difficulty of picking up and moving for any reason on a regular basis. I can believe that this would cause a lot of strains on relationships as well as resentment of the partner who is sacrificing to further the other partner’s career whether it be military or business. You make a good point about how valuable moving can be too with all of the new places and people you get to know.

  20. April 27, 2010 7:55 pm

    This sounds like a great read. I had one big move in my life and that was when I was 4 years old. I’ve always been around my family, and couldn’t imagine packing up and leaving them behind. Of course, if we had to do it for our careers, it would have to be done.

    Adding to my wishlist…
    You had a huge influence on my tbr list…lol

  21. April 27, 2010 8:02 pm

    That was a great review. I sounds like a great book. I will be sure to put that on my list.

  22. April 27, 2010 8:45 pm

    This book seems so beautiful! I like it when books can arouse strong emotions in you without being passive.

  23. April 27, 2010 9:26 pm

    This book made me cry a lot too, haha! I agree it was a great book.

  24. April 27, 2010 9:28 pm

    I love to find books that explore the relationship between people that have been married a long time. It’s such a different kind of love than you normally find in books.

  25. April 27, 2010 9:29 pm

    I’ve never read a Susan Wiggs book and this sounds like it is a wonderful story.

  26. karenk permalink
    April 27, 2010 9:40 pm

    a wonderful posting/review…thanks for the chance to read this novel.

  27. April 27, 2010 9:58 pm

    Sounds like one right up my alley! I’m glad those days are behind my own family but still see it every day since I work for the Navy! Great review, Kathy!

  28. April 27, 2010 11:11 pm

    Thanks for the great review. Every time I stop by I have to add another book to my wish list! Since I was an army brat and an army wife I am like you and relate to these kinds of stories so much. I am off to enter your giveaway. 🙂

  29. April 27, 2010 11:44 pm

    I could pick the book up just based on the title alone, so glad you loved it.

  30. April 28, 2010 12:05 am

    I’m glad you could personally identify with this book. It makes it more meaningful that way, doesn’t it. I do like the way Susan Wiggs writes.

  31. April 28, 2010 9:13 pm

    It does sound like this book resonates a lot with you. We moved a lot too but I think you adjust to the life you are used to … you don’t miss what you never knew (at least as a child).

  32. May 2, 2010 4:39 am

    Thank you for the wonderful review, Kathy! I have special interest for military-related books at the moment and I’m very interested in this one. I am definitely getting this one. Thanks for sharing!

  33. May 10, 2010 4:20 pm

    What a great review! I’ve been wanting to read something of Susan Wiggs for a while now, and this sounds like a good place to begin with.


  1. Giveaway: The Ocean Between Us + gift card « Bermudaonion's Weblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: