- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (August 9, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 031630784X
- ISBN-13: 978-0316307840
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,698,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shining Sea Hardcover – August 9, 2016
"The Dream Daughter: A Novel" by Diane Chamberlain
"Exciting and heartfelt...Chamberlain expertly blends the time-travel elements with the wonderful story of a mother’s love and the depths of sacrifice she makes for her child. This is a page-turning crowd-pleaser." ―Publishers Weekly Pre-order today
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"This absorbing generational story...explores complex dynamics and captures the mood of different decades in America. Korkeakivi's cogent insight into family relationships and the impact of personal loss, as well as how the times we live in effect who we are, shines through.... Each character's story is rich and excellently crafted.... In the end, Korkeakivi seamlessly brings her themes full circle-heroism, the importance of family, and giving back to the world."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[An] impressive story about how a family will band together and perhaps drift apart to live on."
―Sarah Bracy Penn, Harper's Bazaar
"An absolutely transcendent novel about great love and great loss, with a majestic sweep from WWII to Woodstock to modern times. About the memories that change-and save us-and the connections one extraordinary family breaks and remakes. So alive, the novel virtually breathes."―Caroline Leavitt, author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
"I tore through it. Shining Sea is a beautifully drawn testament to everyday heroism and to the power of the family to persevere in the face of tragedy and turbulent world events."―Charlotte Rogan, author of The Lifeboat
"I could tell you how in Shining Sea Anne Korkeakivi masterfully explores the impact grief, and war, have on a family. But I will just say this: I loved this book."―Ann Hood, author of Comfort: A Journey Through Grief and The Italian Wife
"When I finished reading Anne Korkeakivi's stirring second novel, Shining Sea, I had to double-check the page count--how could such a huge, multi-generational saga be told so skillfully in less than 300 pages? But Korkeakivi does so, and does it so well, never losing her grip on the reader's attention. The canvas is large, but so are the characters and, most importantly, Korkeakivi's talent which brings them to life. I really, really loved it."―David Abrams, author of Fobbit
"Shining Sea is a novel of clap-demanding authorial grace. Its drama is eloquent, its message resonant. The truly remarkable Anne Korkeakivi has written a laudable and relentless novel."―Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen
"A panoramic novel tracing generations of the Gannon family illuminates the aftershocks of war in the 20th century.... The effortless prose and vining plot make for a winsome tale of kinship and growth. Endearing characters carry a sinuous story of family bonds."
"A gut-wrenching story about war, family, and the persistence of memory, Shining Sea will take you all over the globe without so much as leaving your reading chair."―Sadie L. Trombetta, Bustle
"An engaging and moving multi-generational epic."―Largehearted Boy
About the Author
Anne Korkeakivi is the author of the novel An Unexpected Guest. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications in the United States and Britain, and she is a Hawthornden Fellow. Born and raised in New York City, she has lived in France and Finland, and currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland, where her husband is a human - rights lawyer with the United Nations. They have two daughters.
Top customer reviews
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This is what Barbara Gannon thinks about life in Anne Koreakivi's novel, "Shining Sea", as she looks back at her family over the decades.
"Shining Sea" can be categorized as a historical novel revolving around one family from 1962 to 2015. It touches on all the major issues of those years, particularly the Vietnam War. The story is told from the points of view of Barbara, the matriarch of the family of five: three boys and two girls, and from the perspective of her youngest son, Francis. Like most of us, Barbara's life has not turned out the way she planned or wanted, and for most of her life she continually wonders "if only" something pivotal that happened in 1962 hadn't happened. She muses: "Why can't life just run like minnows through one's fingers, moving fast but bright and tickling? Why does it have to be so full of darkness and shadows?"
But we know that life IS full of shadows, and it's pointless to mourn the life you thought you would have.
"Shining Sea" was fast-paced, beautifully written, and it held my interest. For a similar look at one family across the years I also recommend Jane Smiley's Last Hundred Years Trilogy, starting with "Some Luck".
The children are particularly interesting. Patty Anne is a lost soul, a teenager right out of high school when she marries her ne'er do well boyfriend in order to keep him out of the war in Vietnam. Michael, Jr., follows in his father's footsteps and becomes a physician. Francis, the lost boy, descends into anomie after the death of his best friend Eugene. He separates from his family and for some time no one knows where he is as he travels throughout the globe.
This is primarily the story of Barbara and Francis as they try to find themselves after the traumatic loss of their husband/father. Barbara settles into a 'comfortable' marriage with a good man and Francis tries to find himself by bedding down one woman after another.
While I found this family saga entertaining, there was enough missing that it didn't grab me fully. The reader travels from the sixties to the present as the Gannon family faces its trials and tribulations. As someone who lived through the sixties and remembers it, I found the narrative about that era to be evocative but not completely accurate. If you want to read a literary novel that is dramatic and interesting, this may be the right choice.
Korkeakivi follows the widow, Barbara, through her personal growth and remarriage while raising her children in the 1960s and 1970s. These were tumultuous years. Through her children we remember the horrors of the Vietnam War and the “stoned” experience of Woodstock. The family story also takes us to Europe and unrest and personal fights in London and Scotland in the 1980s. We even relive the AIDS epidemic.
This book reminds us of the personal, human experience brought on by world events in our modern history. For some of us, it’s a walk down memory lane as we remember people, like the Gannon family, who took direct hits from Vietnam, or AIDS. The book, though, isn’t a book about defeat and failures, though there is some of that. It’s also a story about moving on, recovering from the past and making a future. This is how I felt near the end of the book about Barbara’s attendance at her grandson’s graduation from medical school.
“Shining Sea” is a comfortable read, even though the topics aren’t always comfortable. It’s hard to put down. Korkeakivi covers a lot of time and space, but it isn’t overwhelming. It is worth the read.
Ann Chambers Noble