Saturday, October 15, 2011

To Be Sung Underwater

by:  Tom McNeal
published by:  Little, Brown & Co.
publish date:  June 2, 2011

Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that "picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio." Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise.

But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn't look back.

Twenty years later, Judith's marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say?

I haven't read anything by Tom McNeal before, but from now on he will be on my list of authors to watch for.  I absolutely adored To Be Sung Underwater.  I had the audiobook going in my car and I couldn't wait to get in my car to hear more of this story.   The reader did an awesome job.

The story is told in alternating time periods.  It goes back and forth between teenage Judith and present day, married Judith.  In the beginning I didn't particularly car for the present day Judith, I only wanted to hear teenage Judy's story.  After awhile, I accepted you couldn't have one without the other.  Once Judith left for college, I didn't even want to know the teenager anymore.  I so despised her.   As you can tell my feelings for Judith were all over the place. 

The thing that remained constant was my affection for Willy.   He was a good man, but he just wasn't good enough.  He might have provided for Judith, but he would have tied her down.   I felt really bad for the woman who eventually became his wife, to always live in that shadow and know it.

This book has one of my new favorite passages:  "For you, I was a chapter--a good chapter, maybe, or even your favorite chapter, but still, just a chapter--and for me, you were the book."  It was heartwrenching!


Elizabeth said...

Fantastic content in your blog.



Lukey Here said...

This is one of my all-time favorites. It was beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time.