Good morning!  Welcome to another Friday Potpourri in which we celebrate Book Beginnings, hosted by A Few More Pages, and The Friday 56, led by Freda’s Voice.

It’s been quite a week, with lots of activities and only a little bit of reading.  But I’m hoping to make up time over the weekend.

Today’s excerpts come from Distant Shores, by Kristin Hannah, a story about a woman in search of who she is after the nest is empty.

Blurb:  Hannah returns with another second-chance-at-love story, this one as bleak as the soggy Pacific Northwest setting. Perimenopausal former artist Elizabeth Shore is feeling lost and miserable these days, as daughters Jamie and Stephanie matriculate at Georgetown and husband Jack focuses on jump-starting his stalled sports broadcasting career. So Elizabeth, tellingly nicknamed “Birdie,” compulsively redecorates her empty nest and pesters Jack with lugubrious questions about what’s wrong with their lives. Then Jack scores a journalistic coup, and in his implausibly meteoric return to broadcasting glory, winds up in an efficiency apartment in New York City, halfheartedly fending off the advances of both a nubile assistant and a Hollywood bombshell. Meanwhile, back in rainy Oregon, Birdie grieves for her beloved late father, joins a support group for “passionless” women, starts to paint again and talks to herself in the self-help homilies Hannah favors (“No more cheerleader years for me”)….


Beginning:  It all started with a second martini.

“Come on,” Meghann said, “have another drink.”

“No way.”  Elizabeth didn’t handle alcohol well; God knew that had been proven conclusively back in 1976 when she’d been at the University of Washington.


Okay, I’m imagining all kinds of things here, since big changes—and not necessarily good ones!—come after “one too many” drinks.  So this beginning has piqued my curiosity.


P. 56:  But she was sitting there, staring at him through eyes that were heartbreakingly sad.  And she was so damned young.


I suspect that nothing good will come of this encounter, either!

So what did the rest of you discover?  I hope you’ll pop in and share….


  1. Ever since I read “firefly lane” by Kristen Hannah I’ve wanted to read more. I’ve picked up a couple of her other books…..but not that one. It sounds good. 🙂


    1. I usually don’t remember the details of a book after I’ve finished it (that old short-term memory thing, LOL), which is why I’m glad I review books!

      Thanks for stopping by, Tea, and I like Engelbreit’s stuff, too.


  2. Hi Laurel-Rain,

    A couple of great sentences there.
    Your opening had me smiling and wondering just what she had gotten up to after a few drinks.
    By the time we got to page 56, it was just so obvious that outcome of the little scene being played out, was not going to be good for anyone.
    I need to know the last sentence as well, perhaps I would be able to work out the end-game from that LOL!!


  3. I’m reading Silver Girl right now: Your excerpts make me think they’re of a similar genre. I’m impressed with the level of characterization in SG, and looking forward to finding out if author Hannah also offers subtle chronicling of the moment-to-moment thoughts of her protagonists…


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