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Carrie BrownPacker solidifies the reputation she established in the enormously successful The Dive from Clausen's Pier as an uncannily observant chronicler of contemporary American domestic life. Songs Without Words touches every nerve exposed by the solidly middle-class dilemmas of today's parents and children, husbands and wives, friends and lovers…Packer is no ironist; she is not Claire Messud or Zadie Smith, whose most recent novels unspool under the cool panoramic gaze of a social critic. The characters in Packer's novels are not so much exposed as they are understood…Packer is devoted to her characters, and it is her pleasure as a novelist—and ours as her readers—to watch these people move through the intensely familiar and intimate hours of their days and nights…her pursuit is so unnervingly attentive that it becomes revelatory. Middle-of-the-night readers…who cannot put down Songs Without Words will surely look up at the darkest hour with the sense that they are being watched.
—The Washington Post