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Point Clear: A Novel
     

Point Clear: A Novel

4.2 4
by Jennifer Paddock
 

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Caroline Berry is lost at twenty-seven, living in New York -- not as the writer she once hoped to be but as an assistant at two part-time jobs. In an attempt to figure out a next step, she heads for Point Clear, Alabama, to spend several weeks relaxing at an old southern hotel on Mobile Bay -- unaware that it will soon lie in the direct path of Hurricane Ivan.

Overview

Caroline Berry is lost at twenty-seven, living in New York -- not as the writer she once hoped to be but as an assistant at two part-time jobs. In an attempt to figure out a next step, she heads for Point Clear, Alabama, to spend several weeks relaxing at an old southern hotel on Mobile Bay -- unaware that it will soon lie in the direct path of Hurricane Ivan.

Ignoring evacuation orders, Caroline hides out in the hotel and braves the storm alone. The next morning, she meets a mysterious man on the beach as he enters the churning water for a swim. He is Walker Galloway, a champion swimmer, which she discovers after learning of his disappearance in the newspaper. Realizing she is the last to have seen him, Caroline becomes entangled with his family and friends, and as she is gradually drawn in to Walker's world, she finds, at last, the story she was meant to tell.

Point Clear is a compelling tale of one woman's quest for self -- who finds it only when searching for another.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Paddock follows up her well-received debut, A Secret Word, with a subtle novel about an introspective young woman's search for selfhood. In elegiac prose, Paddock follows 27-year-old Caroline Berry, an Oklahoma transplant eking out a living in New York City who's had a case of writer's block since she dropped out of the NYU writing program. After inheriting some money from her grandfather, she heads to a family retreat in Point Clear, Ala., where she hopes to find solid footing and begin a novel. Instead she arrives just in time for Hurricane Ivan. Walking along the beach in the hurricane's aftermath, Caroline meets a young man, Walker, who later goes missing. This event engages both her heart and her imagination and gives the remainder of the novel a focus, as Caroline makes it her mission to write Walker's story, several versions of which are included. Though some readers may wish for a conflict of some sort-virtually everyone Caroline encounters wants nothing more than to assist her-Caroline's evolution as a writer makes for a warm tale. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Oklahoma girl needing a break from New York's hectic pace takes a vacation at an Alabama resort...just as Hurricane Ivan shows up. Caroline Berry came to NYU from Tulsa with dreams of being a writer. Now 27 years old, she doesn't exactly write, but cadges a sort of literary living, holding part-time jobs assisting a famous restaurant critic and a literary agent. At the start of the novel, Caroline has had it with Manhattan and her career, so she's taking a three-week sabbatical at the Grand Hotel, a classy old resort beloved by her family in Point Clear, Ala., on Mobile Bay. But Hurricane Ivan gets in the way of her R&R, bearing down on Point Clear with a powerful wrath. Since Paddock (A Secret World, 2004) needs something of interest to happen at this point-it's eluded her so far-she has Caroline hide out in the hotel when the evacuation orders come. In the storm's immediate aftermath, Caroline comes across an intriguing young man on the beach. She and Walker have a brief chat before he dives into the bay's choppy waters. When Caroline later discovers that Walker has gone missing, the mystery of his possibly suicidal act starts to obsess her, giving a charge and purpose to her writing. Paddock's off-handed prose ("The place was not crowded but not empty either") makes one long for anything to occur, but not even a hurricane can enliven this tale. Astonishingly dull.
From the Publisher
"A subtle novel about an introspective young woman's search for selfhood. . . . A warm tale." -- Publishers Weekly

"In remarkably elegant and evocative prose, Jennifer Paddock reveals that it's not only the big moments that can change a life, but the deceptively quiet ones, like the eye of the hurricane her heroine passes through." -- Leah Stewart, author of The Myth of You and Me

"A luminous celebration . . . filled with mystery, suspense, and beauty." -- Michelle Richmond, author of Dream of the Blue Room

"Bold in its simplicity, honesty, and precision. You may be picked up off your feet and spun around, but Paddock's skill and heart will set you down just right." -- Lisa Glatt, author of A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416538097
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
08/01/2006
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
996,157
File size:
270 KB

What People are Saying About This

Sonny Brewer
"Paddock has worked some kind of sorcery and imposed a strange and beautiful quiet on a situation that's ready to explode, writing people whose hearts you can hear beating."
author of THE POET OF TOLSTOY PARK
Michelle Richmond
"Jennifer Paddock is at home writing about the athletic possibilities of the human body as she is writing about the properties of water. In POINT CLEAR-a luminous celebration of swimming, tennis, and Mobile Bay-the two converge with elegance and grace. Like the eye of a hurricane, POINT CLEAR is filled with mystery, suspense, and beauty."
author of DREAM OF THE BLUE ROOM
Leah Stewart
"In remarkably elegant and evocative prose, Jennifer Paddock reveals that it's not only the big moments that can change a life, but the deceptively quiet ones, like the eye of the hurricane her heroine passes through."
author of THE MYTH OF YOU AND ME
Lisa Glatt
"Jennifer Paddock's POINT CLEAR is bold in its simplicity, honesty, and precision. Caroline's true journey takes place in one spot, the southern town, Point Clear, and although she's got hurricanes to deal with, both literal and figurative, it is here-with ferocious weather spinning around her, with young men swimming or drowning, with athletic and artistic goals being met and thwarted at once-that Caroline finds her footing. You may be picked up off your feet and spun around too, but Paddock's skill and heart will set you down just right."
author of A GIRL BECOMES A COMMA LIKE THAT

Meet the Author

Jennifer Paddock is the author of A Secret Word. She lives in Point Clear, Alabama.

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Point Clear 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this one. I stayed up late and read it in one night. I found it to be very well written with a plot that progressed nicely.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I grew up near Point Clear and know the hotel like the back of my hand. The storyline did not meet my expectations for a good read. I did not recommend it to any of my friends, especially those who grew up there with me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book - loved it. Engrossing story - easily piques and sustains the reader¿s interest. VERY clever ending. I'm glad I found this author - looking forward to reading more from her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Twenty-seven years old Caroline Berry left Oklahoma to attend the renowned NYU writing program. However, she drops out of the program as she struggles to earn a living. On top of her financial woes, Caroline finds she suffers from writer¿s block unable to put together two coherent sentences.---------------- She needs a change, but the opportunity finally occurs when she inherits some money from her late grandfather. Caroline leaves the Big Apple for three weeks at the Grand Hotel, a family favorite in Point Clear, Alabama where she plans to write the great American novel. She soon meets a young man Walker on the beach. However, her idle time is devastated by Hurricane Ivan¿s assault on the Mobile Bay area and Walker vanishing. With a theme in mind, Caroline begins to write Walker¿s tale even as she investigates what happened to him fearing suicide will be the ending of his and her tale.-------------------------- Caroline makes the tale as a wannabe writer who finds her subject. The story line focuses on her efforts to make it and cleverly offers the evolution of her work on Walker. Though everyone is super nice and cooperative and the action somewhat lacking, readers will enjoy following Caroline as she obsesses over THE SECRET WORD that will enable her to tell the world what led to what happened to Walker by writing about this apparent tragedy.----------- Harriet Klausner