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The Dive from Clausen's Pierby Ann Packer
Synopses & Reviews
Since her first publication in 1992, celebrated novelist Ann Patchett has crafted a number of elegant novels, garnering accolades and awards along the way. Now comes a reissue of the best-selling debut novel that launched her remarkable career.
St. Elizabeths, a home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky, usually harbors its residents for only a little while. Not so Rose Clinton, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed, and stays. She plans to give up her child, thinking she cannot be the mother it needs. But when Cecilia is born, Rose makes a place for herself and her daughter amid St. Elizabeths extended family of nuns and an ever-changing collection of pregnant teenage girls. Roses past wont be kept away, though, even by St. Elizabeths; she cannot remain untouched by what she has left behind, even as she cannot change who she has become in the leaving.
"[A] sensitive exploration of the line between selfishness and self-preservation....There are no easy answers for Carrie, but her struggle to do what's right and her revelations about the life she wants for herself will keep readers turning page after eloquently written page. Give this to the same young female audience that loved Melissa Bank's The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing." Carrie Bissey, Booklist (Starred Review)
"Teens are sure to connect with the protagonist's feelings of unrest and general indecision about her future. This fast-paced, character-driven story will keep them hooked through to the last page." School Library Journal
Like the best work of Jane Hamilton and Sue Miller, Packer's emotionally thrilling, critically acclaimed, bestselling novel combines assured narrative drive with vibrant psychological realism and unblinking moral complexity.
How much do we owe the people we love? Is it a sign of strength or weakness to walk away from someone in need? These questions lie at the heart of Ann Packers intimate and emotionally thrilling new novel, which has won its author comparisons with Jane Hamilton and Sue Miller.
At the age of twenty-three Carrie Bell has spent her entire life in Wisconsin, with the same best friend and the same dependable, easygoing, high school sweetheart. Now to her dismay she has begun to find this life suffocating and is considering leaving it-and Mike-behind. But when Mike is paralyzed in a diving accident, leaving seems unforgivable and yet more necessary than ever. The Dive from Clausens Pier animates this dilemma-and Carries startling response to it-with the narrative assurance, exacting realism, and moral complexity we expect from the very best fiction.
About the Author
Ann Packer received the Great Lakes Book Award for The Dive from Clausen's Pier, which was a national bestseller. She is also the author of Mendocino and Other Stories. She is a past recipient of a James Michener award and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and other magazines, as well as in Prize Stories 1992: The O. Henry Awards. She lives in northern California with her family.
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