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What readers think of Wild and Distant Seas, plus links to write your own review.

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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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There are currently 23 reader reviews for Wild and Distant Seas
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Sue P. (Albuquerque, NM)

Wild and Distant Seas
What a concept! Take a literary classic, add some incredible women, and then, as a final flourish, stir in a dollop of magic. This book may very well become a classic in its own right. I could never plow through MOBY DICK, but I just may give it another go after this read.
Evangeline Hussey deserves to take her place among strong and unusual literary heroines, as do the other women in this book.
The book's sheer scope - of time and location and emotions - will leave the reader wanting to peel back the title page and crawl inside to experience these things for themselves.
Thank you, BookBrowse for making it available to me as an ARC.
Sharon M. (OR)

Wild and Distant Seas by Tara Karr Roberts
Few things are as satisfying as a good story skillfully written. Wild and Distant Seas is the kind of book you find yourself pondering about between readings. Spanning 56 years, two continents and four generations of Hussey women, the author never obscures the story with undue description, details or fantasy. Indeed, among the pleasures of this book is Roberts' ability to convey layers of meaning within deft sentences and images. Male characters are not neglected, but relationships between women, both mothers and daughters and the diverse women who sustain them, builds our understanding of the enduring values of caring and loyalty.

Spellbinding journey
Tara Karr Roberts' debut novel Wild and Distant Seas tells the story of four generations of mothers and daughters whose lives take them around the globe and whose remarkable memories take them even further. Drawing in elements of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, Roberts creates a world both heartbreakingly real and magically surreal. The beautifully written prose transports us right to each location and right to the heart of the matter as each woman tries to find her way in the world and find her way back home. Roberts portrays the mother-daughter bonds with enduring accuracy: at once loving and exasperating, strong and fragile. Wild and Distant Seas is a page-turner, a deep dive so spellbinding you'll need to come up for air to catch your breath. By far one of the best books I've read this year!
Kathleen L. (Fairfield, PA)

Whales, women, migration, and memory
The beginning of this book seemed slow, but I'm so glad I continued reading. This story of four generations of women proved to be compelling, moving, and beautifully written. Across the generations, the women had unusual gifts related to memory, and the portrayal of memory challenged and enriched my own understanding of memory. As the women moved across the world, each sought, or sought to avoid, knowledge and memory of the character Ishmael from Moby Dick. I haven't read Moby Dick, but I was able to follow the story and understand what he represented. I especially loved the whale imagery, and even several days after finishing the book, I find myself thinking about the whales and the role they played in the story. I recommend this book for anyone interested in family history, New England, oceans, women's roles, and memory, among many topics.
Carole P. (Natick, MA)

Wild and Distant Seas
What a joy it was to read this book. Although I am not a Moby Dick fan, once I started reading this, I was hooked. Beautifully written, the book just flows. The story follows four generations of women and their daughters. The tale of Ishmael is woven in as each new generation of women tell their story. Although it is heartbreaking at times, it was not a "dark depressing " book. Along with the suspense of each women's tale , a touch of magic, and the love that mothers have for their daughters , it is a book that has depth to it and well developed characters. I think it is going to be one of my favorite books for 2024.
Beatrice M. (West Islip, NY)

Wild and Distant Seas by Tara Karr Roberts
What a wonderfully written debut by Tara Karr Roberts! This piece of historical fiction, as the novel begins, truly captures the rich atmosphere of a Nantucket seaside town and inn. As the story advances, other towns and countries are brought to life as this novel unfolds.
Although it somewhat follows the tale of Moby Dick, this novel's focus is on the women spanning over 4 generations, making it a generational epic tale,
This book was well paced and the descriptions and voices of each character kept me turning the pages and wanting more. I found myself wrapped in the details of each main character and their journey through life. I did not want this book to end.
Marie M. (Rochester, MN)

Wild and Distant Seas
If Tara Karr Roberts' debut novel is any indication of what is to come, I'll be waiting with bated breath for her future writings. I thoroughly enjoyed the unfolding of the plot and the connections between the four main women characters. I felt like I was walking along with them as they journeyed on their life's search and each came to grasp her unique, magical power.

The descriptive beauty of Robert's language is evident throughout and takes the reader along on the journey and into the sea. "… the ocean snuck up on me. We crossed a busy street, and there it was. A strip of blue-green across the graying sky. It rose as we crunched across the stones, gaining whitecaps and the gentle shush of waves. It was never as big as I expected." Such beautiful, enthralling imagery.

I found this book very moving and somewhat spellbinding because of the underlying magic.

I would definitely rate it 5-star on the Goodreads scale.
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.
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