To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel

To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel

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by Tom McNeal
     
 

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Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that "picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio." Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford.

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Overview

Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that "picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio." Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn't look back.

Twenty years later, Judith's marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say?

TO BE SUNG UNDERWATER is the epic love story of a woman trying to remember, and the man who could not even begin to forget.

Editorial Reviews

Cynthia Crossen
An exceptional novel.... McNeal writes a kind of prose that's almost endangered today: natural, smooth and subtle.
The Wall Street Journal
Susan Salter Reynolds
Love stories have a terrible gravity, a centrifugal force. McNeal has created characters so dimensional, so memorable, that we are caught up in that urgency. Our rationality is compromised; the rules of the world fade away.
Los Angeles Times
Caroline Leavitt
Hypnotic .... so vividly written that it takes you to a place where all your perceptions seem dizzyingly altered. Which is, of course, exactly like love itself.
Washington Post
Carrie Keyes
McNeal's ability to tell the story from a female point of view is shockingly accurate, as is his Richard Russo-esque ability to make small town characters simply complicated....a beautiful novel that bravely examines the effect a broken relationship can have on one's life path.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Sarah Willis
Bautifully written.... a compelling story, uniting the literary, character-driven novel with what eventually becomes quite a page turner.... This novel will make for great book-club discussions.
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer
Gale Walden
This lovely novel is quiet and smart, drawing you so deeply into the characters that the ending might just leave you coming up for air.
Oprah Magazine
Markus Zusak
"You don't so much read To Be Sung Underwater as you're consumed by it. The characters are unforgettable. The writing is staggering. More importantly, though, it's the courage of this book that sets it apart. It's the bravest, most beautiful book I've read in a long time."
Carrie Keyes - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"McNeal's ability to tell the story from a female point of view is shockingly accurate, as is his Richard Russo-esque ability to make small town characters simply complicated....a beautiful novel that bravely examines the effect a broken relationship can have on one's life path."
Cynthia Crossen - The Wall Street Journal
"An exceptional novel.... McNeal writes a kind of prose that's almost endangered today: natural, smooth and subtle."
Ann Packer
"Smart, sexy, gorgeous, and at times devastatingly sad--these words describe the woman at the heart of this wonderful novel almost as well as they do the book itself. This ravishing love story will envelop you for a few days and then linger for a long time thereafter."
Richard Ford
"To Be Sung Underwater is such an immensely readable novel. McNeal has the enviable talent of making splendid writing look easy at no cost to the complexity and the beauties of what fascinates him (and me) -- the terrain occupied by women and men in love with each other. This is a wonderful book."
Sarah Willis - The Cleveland Plain-Dealer
"Bautifully written.... a compelling story, uniting the literary, character-driven novel with what eventually becomes quite a page turner.... This novel will make for great book-club discussions."
Caroline Leavitt - Washington Post
"Hypnotic .... so vividly written that it takes you to a place where all your perceptions seem dizzyingly altered. Which is, of course, exactly like love itself."
Gale Walden - Oprah Magazine
"This lovely novel is quiet and smart, drawing you so deeply into the characters that the ending might just leave you coming up for air."
Susan Salter Reynolds - Los Angeles Times
"Love stories have a terrible gravity, a centrifugal force. McNeal has created characters so dimensional, so memorable, that we are caught up in that urgency. Our rationality is compromised; the rules of the world fade away."
From the Publisher
"You don't so much read To Be Sung Underwater as you're consumed by it. The characters are unforgettable. The writing is staggering. More importantly, though, it's the courage of this book that sets it apart. It's the bravest, most beautiful book I've read in a long time."—Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief"

Smart, sexy, gorgeous, and at times devastatingly sad—these words describe the woman at the heart of this wonderful novel almost as well as they do the book itself. This ravishing love story will envelop you for a few days and then linger for a long time thereafter."—Ann Packer, author of Swim Back to Me and The Dive from Clausen's Pier"

To Be Sung Underwater is such an immensely readable novel. McNeal has the enviable talent of making splendid writing look easy at no cost to the complexity and the beauties of what fascinates him (and me) — the terrain occupied by women and men in love with each other. This is a wonderful book."—Richard Ford"

McNeal's ability to tell the story from a female point of view is shockingly accurate, as is his Richard Russo-esque ability to make small town characters simply complicated....a beautiful novel that bravely examines the effect a broken relationship can have on one's life path."—Carrie Keyes, Seattle Post-Intelligencer "

An exceptional novel.... McNeal writes a kind of prose that's almost endangered today: natural, smooth and subtle."—Cynthia Crossen, The Wall Street Journal"

Bautifully written.... a compelling story, uniting the literary, character-driven novel with what eventually becomes quite a page turner.... This novel will make for great book-club discussions."—Sarah Willis, The Cleveland Plain-Dealer"

This lovely novel is quiet and smart, drawing you so deeply into the characters that the ending might just leave you coming up for air."—Gale Walden, Oprah Magazine"

Love stories have a terrible gravity, a centrifugal force. McNeal has created characters so dimensional, so memorable, that we are caught up in that urgency. Our rationality is compromised; the rules of the world fade away."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times"

Hypnotic .... so vividly written that it takes you to a place where all your perceptions seem dizzyingly altered. Which is, of course, exactly like love itself."—Caroline Leavitt, Washington Post

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780594606482
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
06/05/2012
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
165,328
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Tom McNeal's first novel, Goodnight, Nebraska, won the James A. Michener Memorial Prize and California Book Award, and his short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize XXI. He lives near San Diego with his wife and sons.

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