A Better View of Paradise by Randy Sue Coburn

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An incredible summer read that I would recommend anyone going to the beach to bring this one along.  I can still almost smell the ocean…  ~ Sheila

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Thirty-six-year-old Stevie Pollack has earned fame and praise for her landscape architecture projects, though critics complain she’s too formal, too rigid. When her lover abruptly drops her, and her Chicago lakefront development project is panned, Stevie seeks A Better View of Paradisesolace in her r oots, among the calming waters, the vibrant flowers, and the comforting traditions of the islands. Still, in the back of her mind, Hawai`i holds troubling memories of a childhood with an emotionally distant father, Hank, and a reserved British mother.

The trip home promises Stevie a welcome departure from mainland trials, despite her irascible father’s presence. But the shocking news that Hank is dying forces the pair’s reunion into high gear. As father and daughter look to rekindle their bond, Stevie discovers sides of Hank she never knew, including family secrets that shaped their lives. And what started as a holiday escape for the beleaguered artist becomes a chance for transformation. Along the way in this shared journey of contention and transcendence, Stevie’s heart opens not only to her father, but to a man who challenges all her constricted notions of love and life’s possibilities.

My thoughts… This book is set much in beautiful Hawaii, and as I read this book on my deck with a tall glass of ice tea I found Author Randy Sue, really put me there.   As I walked along with Stevie, the main character, I really found I enjoyed who she was. From the loss of a boyfriend (yet another relationship gone South) to finding herself  taking a break (in this case, in a car heading home to Hawaii).  As the book continues into working on repairing the relationship with her father, I found I liked her even more.  Throughout this book as Stevie grows more comfortable in her own skin… I feel myself cheering her on.

Really a delightful read…. this is a book about rediscovery, a book that starts out in one direction and winds up in another… much more powerful, much more captivating.


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Randy Sue Coburn began her career as a journalist whose essays and articles appeared in numerous national magazines randysue_150and major newspapers. Her screenplays include Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, the 1994 film about Dorothy Parker that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won Jennifer Jason Leigh the National Society of Film Critics Award for best actress. Film work and teaching at The University of Washington subsidized the writing of Remembering Jody, (1999, Carroll & Graf), and Randy Sue’s second novel, Owl Island, was published in June, 2006 by Ballantine, a division of Random House Publishing Group. A Better View of Paradise, also from Random House/Ballantine, is being published in July, 2009. Born in Chicago and raised in South Carolina, Randy Sue is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The University of Georgia. She lives along the waterfront in downtown Seattle and relishes morning strolls through the Pike Place Market with Binx, a floppy-eared terrier known by name to many more vendors in the Pike Place Market than his mistress.


This book came from Dorothy Thompson from Pump Up Your Book Promotion

This book is rated PG

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