Customer Reviews for

Songs Without Words

Average Rating 2.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(5)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2008

    quiet book

    I thought this was a quiet book about relationships between mothers and daughters and friendship. The writing was good. I felt drawn in and concerned for the characters. It wasn't an exciting book. I believe the characters grew though, quietly. I know this book didn't get great reviews and the comments on this website reflect that. I thought the book was thoughful and reflective on those relationships. I enjoyed it. I look forward to more books from Ann Packer.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    Boring, I'm snoring...

    I really like Ann Packer as an author and greatly enjoyed her two previous works. However, I was disappointed with this book. I agree with the other reviewer, it was dull and flat. I think it was well written, but it didn't seem like the author was writing about much. There just wasn't any vigor and I could have predicted how it would end. I would not recommend this book to others. I kind of feel bad saying that as I was so looking forward to something new from Ann Packer. Please read her other two books and hope for another great one in the future as I know she has it in her.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2008

    Songs Without Words

    Read this book if you are interested in yet another detailed depiction of the lives of quiet desperation playing out in American suburbs. Ann Packer was hailed as a gifted chronicler of the interior lives of women after her debut novel, The Dive From Clausen's Pier '2002'. In it, a young woman wrestles with feelings of guilt after her fiance, for whom she has lost all passion after an 8 years and 6 months courtship, becomes a quadriplegic when he breaks his neck in a diving accident. Her second novel, Songs Without Words, has a somewhat less arresting premise, though it still involves life-changing bodily harm. Liz and Sarabeth have been best friends ever since the latter's mother committed suicide while they were in high school. Now in their 40s, they find their relationship shaken to its core after Liz's 15-year-old daughter, Lauren, attempts suicide. In a nutshell, Sarabeth feels awkward and lost as she is not used to providing emotional support. Meanwhile, Liz is hurt, then fed up that Sarabeth still seems to want to be mollycoddled when Liz obviously has greater worries on her mind. Packer takes pains to establish her character's personalities, the better for us to understand their psychological motivations. The problem is that these personalities are not very interesting. Liz is a happy housewife devoted to her children and yoga, while her husband Brody plugs away at a technology firm and plays tennis to relieve stress. Lauren is a shy, artistic type shunned by the cool girls in school and infatuated with a conventionally good-looking senior, while her younger brother Joe is a strong, silent soccer player. Lastly, Sarabeth is the wild child, making lampshades and falling for married men when she isn't sitting in her bohemian shack stressing out about her life's lack of direction. Packer drags us through the minutiae of her characters' lives in an attempt to expose the cracks running just below the surface. Her prose, though elegant, also lacks any turns of phrase or imagery that might move the reader, settling for the obvious cliches. Perhaps in an attempt to channel teenage angst, she chooses to convey Lauren's deep despair with sentences plucked from a high school girl's poetry notebook: 'Her stupid blue dress from last year brushed her shoulder. Life was endless, endless.' In her haste to explore the complexities of the human psyche, the writer seems to have forgotten that the individual human is what makes a psyche compelling, or not. If this book were a song without words, it would be one overwrought hackneyed and ultimately forgettable tune.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointment

    I LOVED Packer's first book, The Dive from Clausen's Pier, and was so excited to read this. Wow, was I disappointed. Just very boring with not much going on . The only redeeming quality was that I could relate to some of the friendship stuff and was interested in hearing about stuggles between lifelong friends. But that was not even worth the read, really. I wouldn't reccomend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2008

    Just Because You Write One Great Novel It Doesn't Mean You Can Write Another One!

    When I reached 'Part 3' of the book, I thought, finally something will come together. I now have about 50 pages left and am beginning to doubt that anything of much interest will happen. I was away on a trip with not another book to read so I just kept reading. I will finish the book but with not much anticipatation. The characters are shallow and never fully develop. Very depressing and dysfunctional characters in much need of seeking professional help. I felt that the premise of the book could have been a good one if developed properly. But, the plot is thin and stagnant. Am glad that I did not buy this book but was able to take it out from the library. If you feel you still want to read 'Songs Without Words' I suggest you go the same path.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2007

    Anticipation turns into disappointment

    This read was a major disappointment. I had high expectations after Ann Packer's 'The Dive From Clausen's Pier.' 'Songs Without Words' was flat, boring, and entirely predictable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2007

    Songs WO Words, Book WO a Plot

    I got half way through and could not bring myself to invest anymore time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    Big disappointment

    Having loved the dive from clausen's pier, i was really excited to read something new by ann packer. i couldn't have been more disappointed. after an initially interesting start, the story fell totally flat and i had to force myself to get through the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    HUGE waste of time

    i wish i had it in me to stop reading a book once i've started. this book was mind-numbingly horrible. i'm actually angry about the time i wasted reading this book. it seemed just worthless babble to me, i still can't figure out the reason the brother even existed. i could go on forever. save yourself valuable time and stay as far away as possible from this garbage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

    This novel has many real life topics and events, and is an excellent read for those who enjoy true life stories.

    Songs Without Words is a touching story about family and the trying times many families go through. The two main characters Liz, an artsy mother and loving wife, and Sarabeth, a single but proud woman, have been friends since thier middle school carrers. Now grown and approaching middle age, they both are going through somewhat of a midlife crisis. Sarabeth has just gotten out of a relationship with a man she was deeply in love with. The only problem is that he was a married man. Now Liz on the other hand seemed like her life was flowing smoothly. Her marriage was good and she had two children in high school. Her son Joe played varsity lacrosse and was doing pretty good in school. Her daughter Lauaren was a different story all together. She was struggling not only in school but also in other aspects of her life. Lauren was having trouble coping with the difficulties in her life and ended up resorting to drastic measures. If you are interseted in knowing more about finding out what happens to Lauren, her mom, and Sarabeth I suggest puting Songs Without Words on your list of to read books.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Couldn't Put it Down

    Songs Without Words was a touching novel about the strength of childhood friendship that creates somewhat of a family bond. I loved the characters in this book, Packer did a wonderful job giving insight into their lives and minds and at the end of the book you're left wishing to know more about these characters and how the rest of their lives turn out.

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  • Posted March 11, 2009

    little substance

    the book was enjoyable enough to read, but really had little substance. I felt like I did not know the characters. I wished we had more to read about. My favorite was the daughter with the issues.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2008

    Trying Too Hard...

    The Dive From Clausen's Pier is one of my favorite books, and I have anxiously awaited Ann Packer's next novel. I was thrilled to happen upon this book on accident at the library. Unfortunately, it was a major disappointment. When I read the book jacket, I really couldn't figure out what the story line would be. After reading the book, I figured out why... there really isn't much of a story. Besides a couple key events, the majority of the book is each character wrestling with their emotions, with excruciating and repetitive detail. The book is painful to read, and not in a good way. The characters are very one dimensional and none of them are fleshed out in a way that makes you care. Take Lauren. We never understand why she experiences such depression and self-loathing. And Brody, the husband, who is filled with anger in the book from start to finish, and never really experiences any growth. I was so frustrated reading it, but I kept at it just to see if something major would happen or if the characters would change in some way. I love reading about how humans react to tragedies in life and some of my favorite books are by Elizabeth Berg, who really has a knack for these subjects, but is able to say it in far fewer words and still maintain a healthy and engagiing storyline. Songs Without Words was just trying too hard to give deep insight into how we relate to each other when bad things happen. I needed more 'show' through a strong storyline and less 'tell' with each character's inner observations. Two stars are a generous rating for this book, but I do have faith that Ann Packer will wow us again with something as amazing as Clausen's Pier.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    I Couldn't Agree More

    I loved The Dive From Clausen's Pier and couldn't wait to read this. I forced myself through it. The characters just didn't ring true and I couldn't feel much sympathy for any of them, except for the daughter. Don't waste your precious time or money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    Like Watching Grass Grow. . .

    I was really excited to read this book, because the premise, two lifelong friends who suffer a 'falling out,' sounded extremely promising. Also, I really enjoyed 'The Dive from Clausen's Pier.' I was sorry to find this book deathly dull. Nothing happens in the lives of these women that are worthy of a busy 'and choosy' reader's attention or interest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
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