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A Better View of Paradise: A Novelby Randy Sue Coburn
Synopses & Reviews
Dramatic, moving, and exquisitely written, A Better View of Paradise explores the tender bond between fathers and daughters, ponders the delicate nature of healing, and celebrates the redemptive power of forgiveness and love.
Thirty-six-year-old Stevie Pollack has come into her own as a celebrated landscape architect. Her designs, famed for their evocative natural beauty, reflect her upbringing amid the splendor of Hawai‘i. But when critics blast her latest efforts and her boyfriend abruptly ends their relationship, Stevie seeks solace in her roots among the dazzling flowers, and comforting traditions of the islands and their calming waters. Still, in the back of her mind, Hawai‘i holds troubling memories of a childhood with Hank, her emotionally distant father, and a reserved British mother.
Despite her irascible father’s presence, the trip home promises Stevie a welcome departure from her trials on the mainland. But the shocking news that Hank is dying forces the pair’s reunion into high gear. As father and daughter attempt to rekindle their bond, Stevie discovers sides of Hank she never knew, including family secrets that have shaped their lives. And what started as a holiday escape for the beleaguered architect becomes a chance for transformation, one as exciting as it is uncertain. Inspired by her father’s insight, and energized by the attentions of an attractive local veterinarian, Stevie learns to surrender her inhibitions and seize the day.
Unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend at the same time her latest development project is panned, architect Stevie Pollack retreats to her childhood home in Hawaii, where she meets a handsome veterinarian and reluctantly reconnects with her emotionally distant and terminally ill father.
"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 solace in her roots, among the calming waters, the vibrant flowers, and the comforting traditions of the islands. Still, in the back of her mind, Hawaii 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" — from author's web site.
About the Author
Randy Sue Coburn is a former newspaper reporter whose articles and essays have been published in numerous national magazines. She is the author of Owl Island and Remembering Jody, and her screenplays include Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, the critically acclaimed Cannes Film Festival selection that received five Independent Spirit Award nominations, including Best Screenplay. She lives in Seattle.
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