THE WIDENESS OF THE SEA
Author Katie Curtis
Narrated by Amy Landon
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Mar 27, 2018
Running time 9 hrs 22 min
I voluntarily reviewed an audio review copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Anna Goodrich is a twenty-eight-year-old artist in New York City, out on a Friday night in the city when she gets the call that her uncle has suddenly died. When she returns home to mid-coast Maine for his funeral, she faces all that she left behind when she left seven years earlier.
The pain of her own mother’s death, the fractured relationships with her father, and her first love. The life she had built for herself in New York—the art world, her boyfriend, her roommate who is also her best friend—allowed her to forget the grief and hurt she had left behind in Maine. But when her uncle leaves her a surprising inheritance, if forces her to face them, and the parts of her self she’s buried.
As she searches for answers about herself, and where she belongs, she discovers how people and places shape us, and how understanding, forgiveness, and grace have the power to transform us and the people we love. https://tantor.com/the-wideness-of-the-sea-katie-curtis.html
Three of my favorite things: Art (painting in particular), Maine and Lobster. I loved everything about this story where, as ridiulous as it seems, two high school to college sweethearts find their way back to each other. That little bit of fantasy, and the fact that their biggest issues were mistaken identities and young adult communicative abilities and reactive behavior, took away from the story a bit.
A letter, a phone call and x or y number of years wouldn’t have been lost. Of course in that time period, Anna has the chance to become her own woman, learn a bit about the world outside of her little town. And the guy, Andrew, learns how to not be parochial while living in his hometown.
There are other issues: fathers, sisters, inheritances. It’s an interesting story – a little predictable.
It’s also a little glib on the details. While I haven’t been a painter in NYC, I have been a painter for over 25 years and know many, many, IMMENSELY talented painters who know people and who are connected. Success doesn’t work the way it works in this fantasy. But it is the fantasy for painters of any degree of talent.
Reality: sometimes we stop painting for years for emotional or professional reasons. Sometimes these breaks are good and get one out of a rut, sometimes they help you make your rent payment, and sometimes they interrupt your flow and set you back skill-wise. But running as a young person and coming back are often those huge growth opportunities, hugely painful, but opportunities just the same.
Historical relationship issues between Anna and her current guy are either unexplained or I totally missed it; I found it an unfair treatment of a character. There’s also a little religion that sneaks in
The fact that the story happens in the state I call home and they drive by my town several times. It’s pretty realistic. Portland is a fantastic place for dinner, and Damariscotta, the main location of this story is one of my favorite towns, Sadly, the narrator mispronounces “Damariscotta” constantly throughout the book. I’ve lived here 34 years and have never heard it pronounced this way. If you didn’t live in Maine, or had never been here, it might not bother you. It did bother me though and it was such an easy thing to not screw up – one little phone call to the town itself, or its library. Otherwise, I enjoy Landon’s work.
So, it starts off with a lobster, a super rare thing in the sea. And it is redolent of the lovely feeling of this fabulous state. Get past the mispronunciation and it is enjoyable.