May 22, 2011

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal

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.


Tom McNeal was born in Santa Ana, California, where his father and grandfather raised oranges. He spent part of every summer at the Nebraska farm where his mother was born and raised, and after earning a BA in English at UC Berkeley and an MFA in Creative Writing at UC Irvine, he taught school in the town that was the inspiration for his first novel, Goodnight, Nebraska. Tom has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, and his short stories have been widely anthologized.

Visit the author's website at

To Be Sung Underwater
Publish Date: 6/2/2011
Price: $24.99/$27.99
ISBN: 9780316127394
Pages: 448
Size: 6" x 9-1/4"


Wow, what an amazing story! I laughed, I cried and I felt a deep sadness when I turned the last page. I feel like I have lost a best friend, and I don't want it to end like this.

This is the kind of book that I know I will never forget. It touched some sensitive parts of my heart, and it brought back memories of my own first love, and some deep regrets from my own life.

The deep relationship of a young couple passionately in love, connected through humour, respect and common dreams was ripped apart when a college education changed the course of their plans. Judith turned her back on Willy and their small town dreams, and they would never be the same.

Twenty years later, Judith finally faces reality. She still longed for the perfect life that she had left behind. Her marriage, her career, and even her motherhood seemed to be a failure, and she needed to find out "what if".

In desperation and in secret, she embarked on a journey to find out if she had made the right choice so many years earlier. Her personal discoveries are heart-wrenching yet beautiful and profound.

For an absolutely beautiful novel that will stay with you long after you turn the last page, check out this book. You won't regret it.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary of To Be Sung Underwater courtesy of Hachette Book Group in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I thought this sounded like a great read. I am glad to hear you enjoyed it. I will be sure to put it on my wish list. Thanks for reviewing it.