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Read advance reader review of Wild and Distant Seas by Tara Karr Roberts, page 2 of 4

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Wild and Distant Seas

A Novel

by Tara Karr Roberts

Wild and Distant Seas by Tara Karr Roberts X
Wild and Distant Seas by Tara Karr Roberts
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  • Published:
    Jan 2024, 304 pages


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Page 2 of 4
There are currently 23 member reviews
for Wild and Distant Seas
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  • Bonne O. (Hartwell, GA)
    All Women of the Seas
    I was intrigued by the use of Moby-Dick in this 1849 historical fiction story set in whale hunting Nantucket. It would take an exceptional woman to be the sole proprietor of an Inn for whalers. I was not disappointed; all the women in this book were unique, exhibiting wisdom and compassion when faced with adversity. I loved the honest portrayal in the interactions between mothers and daughters when both were faced with opposing viewpoints.

    Following the family mystery through all the twists and turns around the world kept me turning pages. Lastly, the author's use of relating the life cycle of the sperm whale to illustrate generations of motherly love was genuinely poetic.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast moving story of strong women forging their own future facing adversity then triumphing over it.
  • Kathleen C. (Cockeysville, MD)
    In Search of Family
    Beautifully written story of four generations of women which begins in Nantucket and travels across continents to come full circle. Each woman has a unique gift of interacting with the world while pursuing the memories and connections of her family in a search for identity.

    Moby Dick, the nature of people and our ability to impact our destinies are major themes of the book and are portrayed with skill. The sea and whales are wonderfully described. I also enjoyed the location descriptions, especially of Nantucket, the forests of Brazil and turn of the 20th century Idaho.

    I am eager to recommend this book to my book club.
  • Deborah C. (Rochester Hills, MI)
    Impressive Historical Fiction Debut
    This is an impressive debut novel by a very talented writer. I quickly became immersed in the stories of the characters and the times they lived in. The author does a superb job of threading together the lives of four generations of headstrong women, with special unique abilities, as they are joined through the years by their connection to the sea and their quest to find a man named Ishmael. I felt that I was there with each of them on their separate journeys from Nantucket to Boston to Brazil to Florence and to Idaho. Fans of historical fiction and women's fiction, with just the right added touch of magical realism, are sure to enjoy this book.

    My sincere thanks to BookBrowse and W.W. Norton & Co. for the ARC of this fascinating book. All opinions expressed are my own.
  • Kathryn H. (Rochester, MI)
    The Women of Moby Dick, and their white whales
    "Wild and Distant Seas" is the story of four generations of women who have some involvement with the men in "Moby Dick." Added to that is the fact that each woman has a specific magical talent. One can see your recent thoughts and another can make you forget something, for example.

    I enjoyed "Wild and Distant Seas," and would recommend it, especially if you like "Marmee," "March," and other works that expand a character's life beyond what appears in the original work. This book reminds me of the best of the "fan fiction" stories based on the Jane Austen novels.

    Each woman in "Wild and Distant Seas" tells her story in a different section of the book.

    Tara Karr Roberts has taken an appealing idea for a story and made it work to perfection. I highly recommend "Wild and Distant Seas" and look forward to reading other books by this author. Thank you to Book Browse for the advance reader copy.
  • Karen S. (Allston, MA)
    Four generations of women and their quests for self
    I loved this book and it may have inspired me to read Moby Dick. The quotes from Melville included at various were beautiful and enhanced the story of four gifted women across four generations. Roberts crafts a story of women and self-determination using the legacy of Evangeline and the social constraints on women through the timeline of the look. A sense of place starting and ending in Nantucket, while covering the greater world and its oceans, is a great foil for the memories that propel each character forward.

    I guess this qualifies as historical fiction, but it is a unique approach to the genre.
  • Antoinette B. (Hilton Head Island, SC)
    Beautifully written multigenerational tale that is both lyrical and magical.
    I believe this book would appeal to those who favor Sarah Addison Allen, Joanne Harris or Heather Webber 's magical realism. It was a wonderful surprise that I feel might be the best book that I have read in 2023. The writing was superb.

    It was so gratifying to step in to the ebb and flow of this atmospheric tale of mothers and daughters and their magical gifts. The characters are written with true depth. Although each generation's story is unique and can stand alone; the story flows and ultimately comes full circle.

    Not one of the characters or any of their stories is unforgettable. The writing is lyrical and moving and keeps the reader immersed in the tales , anxious to see how it will all end . This reader was sad to come to the end even though I believe that it was the perfect end point , I hated that it was time to leave this family . I doubted that I was going to enjoy my next read as much.

    I highly recommend this to everyone.

    FYI, for those who enjoy holding a book instead of an e-reader ( and I do read both), this book is a joy to hold. The paper quality is exquisite and the cover texture and look are beautiful. What excellent choices. It merely added to my overall enjoyment.
  • Nicole G. (Andover, MA)
    Moby Dick reimagined as a tale of female generational trauma
    Call me a sucker for a reimagining or retelling of a classic tale, but I enjoyed this homage to Moby Dick. Told in five parts by the matrilineal descendants of the famous narrator, Ishmael, the story almost feels like four individual novellas that are satisfyingly woven together at the end. The magical realism is an essential part of the narrative propulsion and is not distracting in its use throughout the novel. Overall, a bright debut that leaves me ready to read Tara Karr Robert's next novel.

Beyond the Book:
  A Moby-Dick Reading List

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