Mira, Apr 2004, 19.95, 384 pp.
For two decades Grace Bennett has been the perfect navy wife to her beloved Steve while traveling the globe when her husband gets restationed and raising their three delightful children. So why is the devoted family matriarch feeling worthless and dissatisfied? Perhaps it is simply that her youngest is in ninth grade and like her older siblings needs mom less, but Grace thinks it goes deeper as she believes it is her identity that she lost.
Steve is bewildered by Grace's sudden change of heart towards him, as he believes that his career proves how much he cares for his family. Now deployed, he knows his marriage is in jeopardy especially since Grace has established a communication black out. He refuses to accept that he lost her without going down fighting as he loves his wife and children, but panics that Grace will not be there when he redeploys. When Stephen's ship is in troubled waters, Grace may not have a choice whether to remain a sailor's spouse with the overseas danger to her husband and the rest of the sailors on board.
THE OCEAN BETWEEN US excitingly plays out on two levels. There is the conflict between Grace and Stephen that serves as a reminder of how much family members sacrifice so that their loved ones can serve in a military that constantly ships out to hot spots (whom else but the military and their family have really sacrificed anything for the Global War on Terrorism?). The second theme is an action subplot that shows how dangerous the world is. Both the relationship drama and the naval suspense thriller combine to make a terrific thought provoking tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner