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Body Surfing

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Body Surfing Cover

ISBN13: 9780316059855
ISBN10: 0316059854
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At the age of 29, Sydney has already been once divorced and once widowed. Trying to regain her footing once again, she has answered an ad to tutor the teenage daughter of a well to — do couple as they spend a sultry summer in their oceanfront New Hampshire cottage. But when the Edwards' two grown sons, Ben and Jeff, arrive at the beach house, Sydney finds herself caught up in a destructive web of old tensions and bitter divisions. As the brothers vie for her affections, the fragile existence Sydney has rebuilt for herself is threatened. With the subtle wit, lyrical language, and brilliant insight into the human heart that has led her to be called "an author at one with her métier" (Miami Herald), Shreve weaves a novel about marriage, family, and the supreme courage that it takes to love.

Review:

"Deceptive love and stark betrayal form the icy core of this dark 12th novel from Oprah-anointed (The Pilot's Wife), Orange Prize finalist (The Weight of Water) Shreve. Set adrift at 29 by the sudden death of her second husband (her first divorced her), smart, underemployed Sydney (no last name) signs on for a quiet New England oceanfront summer of tutoring 18-year-old Julie, the intellectually slow but artistically talented and strikingly beautiful daughter of the fractious Edwards clan. The family includes Julie's brothers — 35-year-old Boston corporate real estate man Ben and 31-year-old M.I.T. poli-sci professor Jeff — and the three children's parents. Sydney is half-Jewish, and Mrs. Edwards is anti-Semitic. Family tensions escalate when Julie disappears, then resurfaces in Montreal as the lesbian lover of 25-year-old Helene (a body surfer who frequented the beach near the Edwardses' home). Jeff and Sydney bond during their search for Julie, nights of passion leading to plans for a joyous wedding, which get very complicated when the couple returns to Edwards central. Shreve's devastating depiction of the family's dissolution — the culmination of sublimated jealousies suddenly exploding into the open — is wrenching. Shreve's omniscience is asserted with such ease that it often feels like she's toying with her characters, but her control is masterful, particularly in the sure-handed and compassionate aftermath." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Over the course of 12 previous books, Anita Shreve has presented her characters with some of life's worst vicissitudes, and Sydney Sklar, the heroine of 'Body Surfing,' is no exception. Once divorced and once widowed by 29, she's deeply shaken, but in a manner so circumspect and stoical that Shreve barely nods at it: 'The double blow of the divorce and death left Sydney in a state of emotional paralysis,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"In simple yet eloquent style, Shreve portrays the arc of a complicated romantic relationship, from infatuation to betrayal. What's more, she builds in a palpable sense of suspense as well as a deep empathy for human frailty. The ever-skillful Shreve delivers yet another gripping read that will satisfy her many fans and earn her some new ones." Booklist

Review:

"Shreve's beautifully drawn tale of family and connection will leave readers feeling a bit slammed themselves: against the vagaries of life and the rocky shoals of love. A winner." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] thoughtful, tightly woven meditation on marriage and mortality, family devotion and dysfunction, with subtle, skillful segues into class and religion." USA Today

Review:

"Descriptions of fog, sunlight, swimming, eating, conversation, gardening, intimacy, and frustration are rendered in lucid, lean prose, so the story of an almost-disaster in the midst of such beauty moves quickly, slyly, toward its revelation." Providence Journal

Review:

"The characters don't bleed and the plot doesn't rise above cliche. In the end Shreve is too good a writer to be satisfied with a role in romance fiction." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Not one of this crowd-pleasing author's best, but a solid, workmanlike B-plus effort." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

A spellbinding novel about a young widow torn between two brothers she meets one New England summer, Body Surfing is from the bestselling author of A Wedding in December and The Pilot's Wife, an Oprah Book Club selection.

About the Author

Anita Shrere is the author of the acclaimed novels Eden Close, Strange Fits of Passion, Where or When, Resistance, The Weight of Water and The Pilot's Wife. She teaches writing at Amherst College and divides her time between Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

titianlibrarian, December 15, 2007 (view all comments by titianlibrarian)
Sydney has been hired to tutor the Edwards' daughter with her schoolwork over the summer at their luxurious beachside cottage. When the Edwards' two older sons arrive for a visit, they begin furiously flirting and competing for her attention. While she enjoys this, it's unsettling in that it seems to be indicative of older mysterious problems between the brothers. Meanwhile, Sydney nurtures her tutee in her secret talent for art and watches her grow up, and away, from her troubled family. It took me about a hundred pages or so to get into the story, but then I couldn't put it down.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316059855
Author:
Shreve, Anita
Publisher:
Little Brown and Company
Subject:
Romance - Contemporary
Subject:
Divorced women
Subject:
Widows
Subject:
Love stories
Copyright:
Publication Date:
April 2007
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
295
Dimensions:
9.18x6.48x1.04 in. 1.15 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » Contemporary

Body Surfing Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$0.95 In Stock
Product details 295 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316059855 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Deceptive love and stark betrayal form the icy core of this dark 12th novel from Oprah-anointed (The Pilot's Wife), Orange Prize finalist (The Weight of Water) Shreve. Set adrift at 29 by the sudden death of her second husband (her first divorced her), smart, underemployed Sydney (no last name) signs on for a quiet New England oceanfront summer of tutoring 18-year-old Julie, the intellectually slow but artistically talented and strikingly beautiful daughter of the fractious Edwards clan. The family includes Julie's brothers — 35-year-old Boston corporate real estate man Ben and 31-year-old M.I.T. poli-sci professor Jeff — and the three children's parents. Sydney is half-Jewish, and Mrs. Edwards is anti-Semitic. Family tensions escalate when Julie disappears, then resurfaces in Montreal as the lesbian lover of 25-year-old Helene (a body surfer who frequented the beach near the Edwardses' home). Jeff and Sydney bond during their search for Julie, nights of passion leading to plans for a joyous wedding, which get very complicated when the couple returns to Edwards central. Shreve's devastating depiction of the family's dissolution — the culmination of sublimated jealousies suddenly exploding into the open — is wrenching. Shreve's omniscience is asserted with such ease that it often feels like she's toying with her characters, but her control is masterful, particularly in the sure-handed and compassionate aftermath." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "In simple yet eloquent style, Shreve portrays the arc of a complicated romantic relationship, from infatuation to betrayal. What's more, she builds in a palpable sense of suspense as well as a deep empathy for human frailty. The ever-skillful Shreve delivers yet another gripping read that will satisfy her many fans and earn her some new ones."
"Review" by , "Shreve's beautifully drawn tale of family and connection will leave readers feeling a bit slammed themselves: against the vagaries of life and the rocky shoals of love. A winner."
"Review" by , "[A] thoughtful, tightly woven meditation on marriage and mortality, family devotion and dysfunction, with subtle, skillful segues into class and religion."
"Review" by , "Descriptions of fog, sunlight, swimming, eating, conversation, gardening, intimacy, and frustration are rendered in lucid, lean prose, so the story of an almost-disaster in the midst of such beauty moves quickly, slyly, toward its revelation."
"Review" by , "The characters don't bleed and the plot doesn't rise above cliche. In the end Shreve is too good a writer to be satisfied with a role in romance fiction."
"Review" by , "Not one of this crowd-pleasing author's best, but a solid, workmanlike B-plus effort."
"Synopsis" by , A spellbinding novel about a young widow torn between two brothers she meets one New England summer, Body Surfing is from the bestselling author of A Wedding in December and The Pilot's Wife, an Oprah Book Club selection.
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