Tuesday, August 2, 2011

{read: vacation book} To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal

More than just a love story or an exploration of what marriage is or isn't, this novel explores how we deal with the choices we've made when we stop to take stock of our lives. Judith has always been a planner, but she suddenly thinks that perhaps she should have made different choices in love and marriage. The suspicion that her husband is sleeping with his assistant prompts her to use a fake name to rent a storage unit, where she sets up her girlhood bedroom. She spends many afternoons there napping, recovering from migraines that have suddenly begun to plague her. Even her work as a television producer has begun to suffer. The natural next step is to track down Willy, her boyfriend/fiancee whom she dumped after going to Stanford. What she finds and how she reacts surprises her.

I wasn't sure how this was going to end, but I felt the ending was the one that the novel deserved. The writing is beautiful, as is the title, and the book is sprinkled with witty one-liners on marriage from Judith's mother. I thought this was hard to put down. It would make a great book for a vacation, whether you're heading away or staying home. Tom NcNeal creates a world with characters so real that you can't wait to return to them. This is the first book I've read by him, but I've added his first (Goodnight, Nebraska) to my to-read list.

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal (Little, Brown and Company, 2011)
My rating: 4 stars

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