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Read advance reader review of Wild and Distant Seas by Tara Karr Roberts, page 3 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 3 of 4
There are currently 23 member reviews
for Wild and Distant Seas
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  • Babe H. (Augusta, IL)
    Women and Whales
    Roberts' story is extremely enhanced with her relating the female whales and the driven women of her novel. The historic island setting is a perfect start for the first brave, hard-working woman. The premise seems to be women who love men who love the adventure and lure of the sea. Included are infidelities, true love, searching for new beginnings as well as searching for lost family members.
    All characters are well developed and their actions are believable. Overall, this is not a fast read but a rewarding one.
  • Giovanna I. (Harrison, NY)
    Special Senses
    Wild and Distant Seas reads like a fairy tale told through four generations of gifted women who can manipulate minds, envision the experiences of the people they touch, and retrace paths long gone. These "special senses" lead main characters Evangeline, Rachel, Mara, and Antonia to make decisions that take them onto unexpected journeys. The theme of motherhood is central to the story, as each young woman finds herself alone with a child to care for in extreme situations. The story's flow was slow in the beginning and gradually found its rhythm as we traveled from Nantucket, to Boston, Brazil, and Italy, before returning to the United States - Idaho and Nantucket. We come full circle as the quest to find a sailor named Ishmael becomes an obsession for each of these women. Tragic ends could have been avoided, but such is the nature of life.

    Some characters are quite likable, such as Nat Sweet, whose surname is very appropriate, one of the few kind-hearted men in the book. Two of my favorite passages were the ones which extolled the virtues of libraries. For instance, "a person could get into all sorts of trouble in a library" (223) and "A library was a type of place where I would walk in with a wild story and walk out with something that would help me tell it better" (247).

    The message of the novel is to learn how to live beyond a mother's knowing for it is inevitable that one's child will grow and drift beyond their reach. If we are lucky, they eventually will find their way back home.
  • Beth W. (Savannah, GA)
    Enjoyable Read!
    I enjoyed reading Wild and Distant Seas. A story of four generations of strong women, each having a unique gift of clairvoyance, and their worldwide search for the elusive Ishmael, whose absence affected each life in a different way. The search is the thread that pulls the reader through the story, and even though the ending came a bit quickly for me, I found it satisfying. Strong character development, well-done descriptions and dialogue make this a book that's an excellent choice for singles or book clubs.
  • Veronica E. (Chesterton, IN)
    First, I want to say I liked this story. I found the writing to be very well done. The story made me want to keep turning the pages. I had to finish the book. There was no guessing the end and I like that in a story. To use a partial sentence from the book..."his tale was beautiful, somber and deep." This describes the story. I recommend reading WILD AND DISTANT SEAS.
  • Susan C. (Little Silver, NJ)
    Magical Realism and Historical Fiction in one neat package
    I have always been a fan of magical realism in the novels from Isabelle Allende and some earlier Alice Hoffman works. The small problem with magical realism is that a little can go a long way. I am not necessarily saying that Tara Karr Roberts overdoes the magic but perhaps the blunt manner that it shows itself in the 4 main female characters (5 if you include Otavia she does have a smattering of some magic) is a bit jarring.

    I did rate this book a 4 because the story was gripping and I stayed up last night to finish the last few chapters. I was dying to know how Evangeline wrapped everything up for Annie. I will not detail the plot.

    I did love the continual search for a father (or father figure) throughout the book. We have 5 strong women (including Otavia or Tia for Aunt) who risk life and limb (literally in one character) in search of their true father/Grandfather. That strikes me as unusual for Women of that time and generation.

    Ms. Karr Roberts draws brilliant characterizations. Even the bit characters were clear in my mind. I never had to think twice about who someone was. Grandfather was a lovely man and I saw him so clearly. His love for Rachel, daughter Mara and Granddaughter Annie was clearly stated. Again, that strikes me as rare in the 1800s and early 1900s.

    I may have wanted a bit more realism with the magic but in the end I closed this book with a smile and that is so rare these days. Highly recommend.
  • Melissa H. (McKees Rocks, PA)
    Wild and Distant
    Being a lit major, I am always a sucker for novels that reference a classic. In this case the classic is Moby Dick - a novel I appreciate, but can be an arduous read. Fortunately, you do not need to be a lit major or even read Moby Dick to understand and appreciate Roberts' debut novel. The multi-generational story of Evangeline and her heirs, with their unique "magical" traits, is compelling and intriguing as they each navigate their life paths and mother-daughter relationships.
  • Debra F. (Cudjoe Key, FL)
    Call me Ishmael
    First off, being from Boston, I love books where I'm familiar with the territory. And I love historical fiction. And books about strong women. This story had everything I love about reading. I was transported back to a 'simpler' time. Using Moby Dick as a starting point was so clever.Evangeline has to continue on to live her life and we follow her and her descendants throughout their own lives. At it's heart this is a story about loss & hope. How women navigate through the ages.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Beyond the Book:
  A Moby-Dick Reading List

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