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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Review – The Dive From Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer


Carrie Bell who has grown up and lived all her life in Wisconsin may have settled too soon. She agreed to an engagement with Mike who she has known and dated since high school but is having misgivings. She was already feeling restless and unsure and had decided to end the relationship when Mike breaks his neck after diving off a pier.

Now, to break it off would be heartless but she also doesn’t have the heart to face life with Mike who is now a paraplegic. She quietly unravels and this is her painful journey of trying to do the right thing. However, should it be the right thing for her or the right thing for those she cares about?

She is fickle-hearted, caring about the guy she is with at the time and when she runs away announced from family and friends to New York city, she plunges into another relationship with a man who is full of secrets. When the past infringes on the present, she must make a decision. Where does she belong? Who does she really love.?

Ann Packer paints Carrie as a young and sensitive girl who is wrestling as best she can with the unbearable circumstances of Mike’s quadriplegia. What would we do in such a situation? At times I became frustrated with her because of some of the poor choices she makes and for her insensitivity at times, but doesn’t that mean that Packer has done such a superb job that makes Carrie very real. I Don't want to give away the ending but will say I was disappointed.

Be aware that there are some sexually graphic scenes.This is a well-written book focusing on a very real topic that makes us  ask, "what would I do in this case?" However, without giving away the ending, I want to say that Packer could have taken it in a much better and more satisfying direction. Then ending was a disappointment and for that reason I'm giving it a three out of five star rating. Despite that, it’s a story that will stay with you long after you finish the book.  

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