Friday, November 4, 2011

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal

Genre: Literary Fiction
Published: June 2011, 436 pg. Little, Brown & Company
Source: Review request by Publisher
Review: 4/5 stars

Brief Summary:  Judith Whitman is now in her 40's, married 20 years to a man she met at Stanford, has a teenage daughter and her dream career. When she suspects that her husband may be keeping a terrible secret from her, she begins to question whether this life that she's been leading is the path she should have taken.  What would have happened if she hadn't left Nebraska and Willy Blunt?

My Thoughts:  This is a beautifully written novel that explores the longing for and wondering over the road not taken.  I became emotionally attached to the story and shed a few tears at times.  It was interesting because I didn't always like what Judith did or her motives in her life.  She seemed to be cold towards her daughter and was disengaged as a mother, which I find disturbing.  I did still sympathize with her, though, and I really liked and cared about her young love, Willy.  As I read I found myself thinking about my own life and the decisions that I've made and being very grateful that I don't have huge regrets about the direction of my life.

Another thing I liked about this book was the references to classic literature.  Judith and her English professor father often talk about their passion for reading.  I added a couple more books to my to-be-read list while reading this.

Recommendations:  Unfortunately, I can't recommend this book as a clean read.  There are at least a dozen f-bombs so if that kind of language really bothers you I wouldn't recommend reading this one.  There is also sexual content that I don't consider over-the-top but it is a significant part of the story.  These are mature themes so this book is definitely not for teens.  I did like the book but I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending it to most people I know.  Read at your own risk.

Ratings:  3.1.5  I'm giving this book a 3 for sexual themes and descriptions, a 2 for violence, and a 5 for at least a dozen f-words--I stopped counting after about 6 but there were still several more--also includes many examples of taking the Lord's name in vain.  Read at your own risk.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

Laura Fabiani said...

Thanks for the insightful and honest review. I had been looking at this book a while back and decided not to read it.