Title: To Be Sung Underwater
Author: Tom McNeal
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: June 2, 2011
Hardcover: 448 pages
Genre: Fiction, Romance
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.
To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal is a romantic novel, which has received wonderful reviews and yet was not a book for me. I did indeed read the entire book and things started to pick up for me around page 280 and then dragged and picked up again around page 400. It was the ending I enjoyed the most of the entire story, but unfortunately, to not give away important aspects of the plot, I cannot easily discuss or praise it further here. Prior to writing my review, I glanced to see the scoring from other reviewers (note: I do not read other reviews as a matter of policy) and I appear to be in the minority, so why did others really adore this book whereas I did not? The answer could be as simple as I am not a fan of romance novels, yet this is more of a love story. Judith’s marriage to Malcolm is no longer steady and Judith decides to reconnect with Willy Blunt, a man she promised to marry twenty years ago. I found the notion of someone still thinking about a romantic summer that occurred twenty years prior to be a bit far fetched, yet I went with it. I enjoyed McNeal’s description of “the summer of Willy Blunt”, yet I quite honestly did not care for any of the characters, as I could neither relate with them nor feel any empathy for them. I had hoped the prose would carry me through, yet it did not, and often I felt as though I was reading a screenplay, for example, in the Dairy Queen scene. I would like to try another book by McNeal, but not a love story. To Be Sung Underwater does have higher reviewer ratings than I would give it, so please look at what others thought, just because it did not work for me does not mean it will not be the perfect fit for someone who enjoys a good romantic novel. To Be Sung Underwater would definitely make for lively book discussions.
To learn more about author Tom McNeal and his books, please visit his website.
I received a complimentary ARC of To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal from Little, Brown and Company to offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.