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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
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****The Dive from Clausen's Pier

by Ann Packer

Reviewed May 6, 2003.
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2002.  370 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F PAC).

The Dive From Clausen’s Pier tells the story of Carrie Bell, who has been dating her fiancé Mike Mayer for eight years, through high school and college.  Now the bloom is wearing off, and she’s not sure what’s wrong.  She keeps putting off the wedding date.

Then Mike dives from Clausen’s Pier and breaks his neck.  Carrie’s world changes.

When is it important to be there for people, and when do you need to look after yourself?  What if you aren’t strong enough to be the person people think you should be?

This is a powerful and well-written novel.  I found myself completely emotionally involved.  We have Carrie’s perspective so fully, it becomes hard even to tell if we would have acted differently.

As a word of warning, the book does include some pretty explicit sex.  This isn’t the focus, and the book goes far beyond those scenes.  This is a wonderful and complicated novel.  Definitely not light reading, but very satisfying.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund. All rights reserved.

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