Friday, June 17, 2011

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal ~ review

To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (June 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316127396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316127394

About the book:
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.

My take on this book:
"To Be Sung Underwater" revolves around Judith Tooney Whitman. She was a teen when her parents separated, her mother stayed in Vermont but her father took a job in Nebraska, and Judy decides to follow him. When she falls in love with Willy Blunt, she can easily see herself married to him, but when she is accepted to Stanford, things change, and theirs is a love lost. Fast forward twenty years and Judy is a successful film editor in California who seems to have it all, she married Malcolm Whitman a successful banker and has a wonderful daughter, but things aren't always what they seem and Judy finds herself wondering what might have been and decides to reconnect with her past.

This is not the typical sort of story I normally read, but once I started reading it I found myself totally engrossed in the story. The author easily pulled me in, his writing style effortlessly ties together the past and present allowing us to transition between Judy as a teen, madly in love with her first boyfriend, to Judy who just might be suffering a mid-life crisis.

I wasn't really sure what to expect when Judy finally decides to reconnect with Willy Blunt after being away from him for over twenty years, and honestly my heart broke just a bit for Willy, because I felt like he settled, marrying someone he really didn't love. While the ending allows us to see what happens to Willy, for me I couldn't help but wonder whether Malcolm and Judy worked out their problems. It was a story where I wish there would have been an epilogue, set perhaps a few years later just to see whether their relationship worked out.
Its defiantly a story where I continued to think about the characters long after I read the final pages of the book.

Tom McNeal is a new to me author who certainly captured my heart and imagination with this one. I will certainly be watching for more of his work.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Great review! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following! My two "girls" are my babies (everyone with a dog says that.) They went wild when I returned from a trip two days ago and won't leave my side. Donna

  2. That sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    I'm glad you stopped by my blog. Following you back now. I hope to see you around.

  3. Thanks for stopping by blog.. I'm youR newest follower ;0)

  4. Thanks for stopping by and following! A great review! I'm always on the look out for new books to read so I'll definitely by browsing through all your reviews :o)

  5. Hi. I can see you are a serious reviewer of books. I enjoyed learning about this story.

    Thanks for stopping at!

  6. The fact that you are still thinking about the characters some time after finishing the book says alot I think; the fact that you were caught up in a book of a genre that you don't ordinarily read is also high praise.

  7. Beautiful blog you have and very good book reviews. Thank you for joining us on the Alexa Hop, I'm glad it's working for you.

    I am your newest follower. Have a great week!

  8. Thanks for the reviews and thanks for stopping by on your last visit through the Alexa Hop.
    Returning the visit.


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