Hidden somewhere in this novel is a good novella. This story starts out strong, but stumbles mid-way, where nothing, nothing, nothing happens for a long time, and never quite regains its feet. I get that the narrator doesn't know what to do and being the exceptionally passive-aggressive type, she does nothing. Unfortunately, having her not progress in any way for pages and pages made the story fall flat for me.
It's a great premise and rich material, but it lacked a bit in execution.
I loved this book, loved it from the beginning and could not put down. An overall dark storyline, but makes you think about your relationships. What are you willing to do for the one you love? I wish I had more books to read like this, would absolutely recommend. Fascinating read.
What a wonderful book. The author just pulls you in deeper and deeper into these people's lives until you're so involved you have to stay up all night and find out how everything turns out.
A young couple, having problems, goes on a picnic and the guy breaks his neck jumping off of a pier. The story is about the aftermath and how the fiancee handles it and how friends and family members react. Very involving. Wonderful.
About a girl who has a big decision to make when her fiance ends up with a traumatic brain injury and all its aftermath. Does she stick by his side and give up what she thinks she wants in life or forget him all together. She goes through a rollercoaster of emotions and actually makes several decisions in the end, kind of coming full circle while growing up a lot in the process. I really enjoyed this book. It's a quick but rewarding read in my opinion.
I really enjoyed this book. The author really explores the issues of relationships and how the main character handles a tragic event in her own relationship. I liked her style of writing. I felt for Carrie and her struggle between doing what might be noble or being true to herself.
Having been through a similar experience to the woman in the book, I can appreciate the span of emotions one goes through in deciding whether to devote one's life to caring for a lover turned invalid. Really well done.
The pace of the story is a bit slow especially at the beginning. It is a very touching and realistic portrait of a young woman trying to deal with a tragedy involving her fiancee. You just have to stick with it. It's worth the read.
A thought provoking book about the choices we are forced to make in life. Carrie, a young woman who has spent her entire life in Wisconsin, with the same best friend and same boyfriend begins to find life suffocating and is considering leaving it, and her fiance behind. When her fiance is paralyzed in a diving accident leaving seems unforgivable, yet more necessary than ever.
This book is about life and a moral decision that this character has to make. Live life for herself, or do the thing that is expected most of her. You will enjoy this story and the process of the charater figuring it all out. It could happen to anyone we know.
This was one of my book club's selections. I enjoyed this book, and I especially liked the author's writing style. This is one of those books that I constantly found myself thinking about as I was reading it.
This is a wonderful book in the "chick lit" category. I describe it this way because the main character and narrator is a young woman, the story is her story, and it is a book as dealing more with her feelings, thoughts, and ideas more than with action, danger, etc. My husband is a native of Wisconsin and lived in Madison, where much of The Dive From Clausen's Pier is set,for many years as a student; and yet I wouldn't recommend this book to him because of the "feminine" slant.
Ann Packer writes plainly, smoothly, and memorably. She creates believable, honestly-drawn, very human characters who are easy to care about, and places them in a believable, carefully observed world.
The ending left me disappointed, because I really wanted something different to happen, I wanted the protagonist to make a different decision. That I cared so much is a sure sign, for me, that this is a very worthwhile book.
This is a subtle, beautifully written book, with a highly reflective first-person narrator. The depiction of people in their 20s and 30s, who've been friends since high school, hanging out together in a small college town, is beautifully done. Also the scenes in Manhattan among housemates trying to make their marks in their various ways ring very true. Anyone who loves the city will perk up on reading the passages set there. The book is a carefuly exploration of how women deal with the concept of duty, love and obligations. HOWEVER ... I disliked the character of Kilroy. The author did a great job, to make him this real, but I don't like recalling him and so the book's got to go.
This is a well-written book that takes a young woman through a series of decisions - and emotions - when her fiancee is paralyzed after diving into unexpectedly shallow water. The fact that she had already been having doubts about their relationship before the accident and that she felt she might have been able to prevent the accident plays into her initial reactions. The ending is a bit surprising, but it follows her character.
I really enjoyed reading this one. Carrie was like a kite who was tied down to the earth, sometimes allowed to soar a little higher almost as if on her own, but always still tied down. The ending made me sad, but I knew it was the only one that could be.
Loved this book. Read it in 2 days (it's just shy of 400 pages). Very moving yet self-contained & quiet, in a way. One of the more honest books I've read in a long time. Admirable in that she doesn't try to pretty up an impossible & ugly situation. Highly recommended.
I read this when it first came out in 2002. The book is all right. I just disliked the main character. She was weak. This is a story about a guy and a girl. The girl is thinking of breaking up with the guy. They are out with their friends swimming in a creek and the boy breaks his neck diving from the pier. The rest of the story is about how she dealt with their relationship and her life after the accident.
This book is something unexpected to read. When I got it as a gift, I really didn't think it would be worth my time, but I was wrong. I think you'd enjoy it if you gave it a chance. It held my interest and I read through it very quickly.
This book for me, was about self discovery. After a horrible accident, the main character has to figure out who she is. I thought plot did bog a bit, but did pick back up toward the end. Overall enjoyable read.
The storyline to this book had so much promise. And even with what became apparent as a poorly written story and a SLOW read, I stuck with it because I did want to know what happened, I have finished the book and I am still interested in what happened. This book falls flat at every angle, from characters that are poorly developed, a storyline that does not reach its potential, it is a must miss in every category.
I never really bonded with the characters in this book. The ones that I found interesting were only given minor parts. I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters that took place in NY, but was bored by everything else. I will say that the only part of the story besides NY that drew me, was the sewing. It made me go on a major sewing streak. It was probably a good read to make you think about what you would do in a similar situation, but my interest ended there.
I am really surprised that this book is not being requested at all...I think it really explores the issue of responsibility, guilt, and one's right to freedom. Yes, because of these specific issues, the boom is very introverted if you will, and reflective on the protagonist's part. But I think Ann Packer does a really good job of keeping my interest til the end.
Carrie breaks up with her long time boyfriend Mike just prior to him diving into a lake where he breaks his neck and is paralyzed. Carrie's guilt and the pressure from her family and friends to be there for Mike and not abandon him war with her need to move on and lead her life in her own way. Very thought provoking.
For some reason, I was hoping for more.....more heart, more angst. But I didn't feel it, and I'm not sure why. I also thought that it didn't portray the central character in a good light. Don't want to spoil it, but I think you'll see why. Although it was a good read, and Packer wrote it beautifully, it should have asked the question, how much do we owe ourselves in relationship with those we love?
I had a hard time getting into this book at first but once I commited myself to reading a few chapters I was really glad I did. I thought the book was really well written and thought provoking. This wasn't a light read but it wasn't hard either. I liked the characters even if I didn't always like what they were doing. I can't imagine being in the position the main character is in but found myself thinking about what I would do and realizing that what I think I would do, what I would want to do and what I would actually do might not all be the same thing and how would I live with myself no matter what decision I made. Don't get the wrong impression this isn't a dark book just like I said a good thought provoking one.
I liked this book a lot. In the beginning. I just feel like towards the middle I was screaming at her "Make up your mind" She knew what the right decision was re: Kilroy, and yet she would not do it. She is a character who would not ever stand up for herself and that frustrated me. She was very wimpy and I did not like that. Still, I liked the story. just dragged along at the end waiting for her to get off her butt and make some decisions.
This book tops the list of my favorite books that I'd like to never read again because the plot is truly heartbreaking. I won't ever forget this book, and it will haunt me for some time. I became deeply involved with it from the start, not just because of the plot but because it is written beautifully. It's rare for me to read a book full of constant descritpion and long passages of thought and not want to skim even a single paragraph--I seriously read every word, from start to finish and loved every minute of it. This book is filled with deliciousness, so much I could sink into--a plot where no ending could be the right one, characters who were realistically (and infuriatingly) flawed but also likeable and relatable.
One detail I really liked was how I could truly picture Carrie's life going in either direction, and I didn't know which way she would go until the author wanted me to figure it out.
I enjoyed reading this book, but I'm not sure if it was the book itself or the relief after reading the one I read before it (which I did not enjoy at all.) For me, it was kind of like the mirror in the Neverending Story which made you look closely at who you really are. The young lady in this novel was involved in a very complicated situation that I can't even imagine. She had some difficult choices to make and a long journey of self discovery. I wonder if she will regret any of those choices? I almost wish there was another book about her 10-15 years later.
This book was so amazingly bland that I can't accurately describe my feelings for it. Through the entire book I found myself hoping to finish it so that I could put it aside and start another, more interesting book. I have never in my life disliked a main character as much as I disliked Carrie Bell.
She was selfish, pure and simple. When her best friend and fiance broke his neck in a diving accident, she ran off to New York and began making something of her life. She began following her dreams and exploring her emotions. In New York, unlike her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, she was known to care about people every now and then. Be happy every now and then. In Madison, she cared about no one, least of all herself. She abandoned her friends and her fiance.
I have absolutely no idea how she could feel so numb towards someone who was not only her lover, but her friend. The whole book amazed me. There were no surpises. No plot twists. No caring for the character. I was more interested in the tale of her friends than her own tale. It's like watching an interesting movie through a very bland character's eyes.
The third book on my new reading plan and I hated it. I can only hope few books like this follow. I will never again trust the New York Times Bestseller list.
A young woman, unhappy with her relationship with her boyfriend, contemplates breaking up with him. Before she can do so, he is paralyzed in a diving accident. Now, she knows that she must stay with him or else risk looking heartless. However, when she meets someone new, she must decide if she should stay out of pity or do what is right for herself.
A good story that makes you wonder what you would do in the same situation. The main characters are sympathetic, but the book is a tad slow.
A great book about a woman who is considering breaking off her engagement to her highschool sweetheart but is conflicted when he is paralyzed in a diving accident. Great for book club-raises lots of issues about loyalty and sacrifice.
A New York Times notable book-I couldn't put it down once I really got into it. It was a very different, intricately detailed book about real feeling and conversation. I just finished it today and I can't stop thinking about it. So I would call it a very different thought provoking experience!
How do we owe the people we love? Is it a sign of strenght or weakness to walk away from someone in need? These questions lie at the heart of Ann Packer's intimate and emotionally thrilling new novel, which has won its author comparison with Jane Hamilton and Sue Miller. At the age of twenty-three, Carrie Bell has spent her entire life in Wisconsin, with the same best friend and the same dependable, easy going high school sweetheart. Now to her dismay she has begun to find this life suffocating and is considereing leaving it and her fiance' Mike behind. But when Mike is paralyzed in a diving accident, leaving seems unforgivable, and yet more necessary than ever. The Dive from Causen't Pier animates this dilemma and Carrie's startling response to it-with the narrative assurance, exacting realizm, and moral complexity we expect from the very best fiction.
I really loved this book. It was well written and the characters were very believable. I found myself rooting for the main character and being disappointed when the plot didn't take the turn I wished it too. Hope someone else will enjoy it as well.
i love this book -- i almost can't bring myself to get rid of it. my inept summary: Carrie is already thinking of breaking up with her high school sweetheart (soon after college graduation) when there is an accident and he is seriously injured -- now what?
Carrie Bell is 23 and has lived in Madison, Wisconsin, all her life. She is engaged to her high-school sweetheart, Mike, and all seems well--to everyone but Carrie, who is falling out of love with Mike, with Madison, with everything. On Memorial Day she numbly watches Mike dive off of Clausen's Pier and break his neck in the too-shallow water, leaving him a quadriplegic. She is stricken with grief, guilt, indecision, and fear--she wants to be supportive and faithful, but she cannot make herself love him again. After a painful summer of hospital vigils, she flees to New York City and tries on a new life, a new relationship. She cannot escape what she's left behind, though, and must eventually face those who feel she has betrayed them. There are no easy answers for Carrie, but her struggle to do what's right and her revelations about the life she wants for herself will keep readers turning page after eloquently written page.
After finishing this book I cannot decide if I really liked the story or really hated it. The story had so much guilt threaded through the story. Carrie's character I felt was rather a weak person but then again, what decisions would I make if I were in her shoes. What is more important and what would you choose; the love you grew up with and were growning out of when crisis strikes or a new, exciting love with passion?
Carrie and Mike have been a couple since high school and just as Carrie is having second thoughts about thier relationship, Mike has a diving accident and is paralyzed from the neck down. This book chronicles Carrie's thought and feeling process through the whole ordeal. This is a pretty good story, I would give it 4 stars because of the way it involves the reader in the characters ambivalence without making snap judgements and its recogntion and appreciation of human foibles and difficulties.
1st selection of Good Morning America's book club and NYT notable book. Utterly life like character development, gracefully written, emotionally provocative. I need my sleep and ended up reading till 2 am on a Tuesday because I could not put it down.
Critics have drawn favorable comparisons between Ann Packer and Jane Hamilton and Sue Miller. Certainly this author needs no help standing on her own as a wonderful creator of characters who will inspire empathy and delight.
Carrie feels like she is suffocating and decides to breakup with her high school sweetheart and start over. Before she can do it, he breaks his neck in a diving accident. Will Carrie give up her dreams to take care of Mike or will she go on with her plans for the future?
This is a very interesting tstory that grabbed me right away. It was so difficult to imagine what I would have done in the same situation, I identifies with Carrie and really felt for her! Please note--the book that I have has a different cover from the one shown, though it is published by Vintage as well. Mine is green with a suitcase on the front.
How much do we owe the people we love? Isw it a sign of strength or weakness to walk away from someone in need? These questions lie at the heart of Ann Packer's intimate and emotionally thrilling new novel, which has won its author comparisons with Jane Hamilton and Sue Miller. Wonderful Read!!
How much do we owe the people we love? Is it a sign of strength or weakness to walk away from someone in need? At the age of twenty-three, when her fiance is paralyzed in a diving accident, leaving seems unforgivable to Carrie Bell-yet more necessary than ever. The Dive from Clausen's Pier animates this dilemma--and Carrie's startling response to it--with the narrative assurance, exacting realism, and moral complexity we expect from the very best fiction.