Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book Review: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

When I saw the title of this book on my library’s “new items” list, I was sold. Robert Frost is my favorite poet and his “Stopping By Woods on A Snowy Evening" in which the title of this book is derived, is my favorite poem. The plot looked interesting and the early reviews seemed promising. Here’s the summary: 

Wren is hiding out at her dad’s house in northern Maine. Something bad happened to her earlier in the year—she survived a car crash that killed her boyfriend. Now all Wren does is run—from her problems, her mother, her best friend, her grief. She runs and tries to come to terms with her life and the events that led up to the crash. She even electively mutes herself from time to time—her best form of self-preservation. And while Wren knows she can’t hide and run forever, she can’t seem to stop. She also knows she’s not only affecting but at times hurting those who care for her. But how do you make grief go away when what brought it on is all your fault? Then Wren meets Cal. He’s got some issues of his own and is busy doing his fair share of hiding out and avoiding. Slowly, Cal and Wren get to know each other. Neither can deny the feelings that soon develop. But is Wren ready to let Cal lead her back into a world full of living, talking, people? And is Cal ready to let someone else help and care for him? 

**Lovely, Dark and Deep is Amy McNamara’s debut novel. She’s a poetry major and boy does it show in her writing. Her poetical style is a perfect fit for a book so aptly named after a poem and with a character who closely relates to another famous poet, Philip Larkin. The choppy sentences take some adjusting to at first but once you do, they flow easily. Wren’s pain feels real and being on the journey of grief with her will at times bring you to tears. To some the grief may seem dragged out but I thought it took on a very natural course. The ending was a little abrupt but it had a hopeful feel. You knew things would work for these two not only as individuals but as a couple. I look forward to more work from this talented new author.