Rating:

Reviewed by Meg Massey

Judith Whitman has it all – a handsome husband, a beautiful daughter, and a successful career editing films. When her husband purchases new furniture for their daughter’s room, Judith must dispose of her childhood furniture, and memories from the past come rushing in like a flood.

Tom McNeal’s To Be Sung Underwater flips back and forth from past to present. In the past, Judith is a smart young woman who has moved to Nebraska with her father after her parents’ divorce. Suddenly she finds herself captured by construction worker Willy Blunt, and they embark on an unforgettable romance.

Flash forward to the present, where we find that Judith is disillusioned by her marriage to Malcolm. While she once loved him, she now finds herself wondering if that love has faded, especially when she discovers the possibility that he may have been unfaithful.

A series of flashbacks reveals that Judith left Nebraska and never looked back when she went to college at Stanford. So what happened to Willy? And why has she never been able to forget him and the love they shared all those years ago?

To Be Sung Underwater features remarkably complex characters, from protagonist Judith, who is torn between two men and two times in her life, to her intelligent but often distant father, to Willy Blunt, the man she fell in love with so long ago. My only complaint is that sometimes certain portions of the book felt drawn out, and there were a few times when I had to re-read to make sure I understood what was happening. That said, however, these characters are sure to make an impression. Warning: This book does contain some language and sexuality.

Rating: 3.5/5

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Blue Dot Literary. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.