Sunday, July 20, 2008

Songs Without Words

A few years ago I read The Dive From Clausen's Pier, by Ann Packer, and wasn't really sure how I felt about it. I would've given it a mixed review if I was reviewing books back then. So when I saw that Ms. Packer had a new book out, I thought I'd pick it up and try again. First of all, I almost gave up on it. It just took SO LONG for me to become even REMOTELY interested in the characters and the storyline. The only reason I kept going was because my mom was reading it at the same time I was and said it did get interesting at some point.

For me, that point was when I realized how much I could connect the pattern of friendships in my life to the one depicted in the story. So, Ms. Packer gets points for some true insights into the way a friendship can work and change over time, and especially how often the responsibility for maintaining a friendship falls to just one of the friends. Also, it was valuable to me to see some of what might be going on on the other side of those kinds of situations.

Still, it was really hard for me to care about her characters. I just never felt like they were...alive enough, maybe. But again, I did end up liking it much more than I had expected. So, mixed reviews for Ms. Packer seems to be my general feeling. This had some value for me to read, especially at this point in my life, but the story itself seemed to me to be ultimately forgettable. So there you go.

Some true insights into the way a friendship can work and change over time. But it was really hard to connect with her characters, so ultimately forgettable.

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