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4 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Songs without Words (Vintage Contemporaries)

by

Songs without Words (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375727177
ISBN10: 0375727175
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

Every once in a while a book comes along that is so astonishing you can't find words to articulate how you feel about it — instead you give away your copy and say, "Just read it." In this unnerving and utterly moving novel about the depth of women's friendships, Ann Packer delivers each poetic passage with a quiet force that reveals how meaningful the seemingly mundane facts of modern life really are.
Recommended by Danielle, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Liz and Sarabeth were girlhood neighbors in the suburbs of Northern California, brought as close as sisters by the suicide of Sarabeth's mother. In the decades that followed, their relationship remained a source of continuity and strength. But when Liz's adolescent daughter enters dangerous waters, the women's friendship takes a devastating turn, forcing Liz and Sarabeth to question their most deeply held beliefs about their connection.

From the bestselling author of The Dive from Clausen's Pier, Songs without Words is the gripping story of a lifelong friendship pushed to the breaking point.

Review:

"Packer follows her well-received first novel, The Dive from Clausen's Pier, with a richly nuanced meditation on the place of friendship in women's lives. Liz and Sarabeth's childhood friendship deepened following Sarabeth's mother's suicide when the girls were 16; now the two women are in their 40s and living in the Bay Area. Responsible mother-of-two Liz has come to see eccentric, bohemian Sarabeth, with her tendency to enter into inappropriate relationships with men, as more like another child than as a sister or mutually supportive friend. When Liz's teenage daughter, Lauren, perpetuates a crisis, Liz doubts her parenting abilities; Sarabeth is plunged into uncomfortable memories; and the hidden fragilities of what seemed a steadfast relationship come to the fore. Packer adroitly navigates Lauren's teen despair, Sarabeth's lonely longings and Liz's feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Although Liz's husband, Brody, and other men in the book are less than compelling, Packer gets deep into the perspectives of Liz, Sarabeth and Lauren, and follows out their conflicts with an unsentimental sympathy. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Ann Packer has been looking in our windows.

The majority of readers of contemporary literary fiction in America — especially fiction written by women — are women themselves, and in her new novel, 'Songs Without Words,' Packer has tapped into the things that worry many of these readers: love and satisfaction in their relationships, the emotional and psychological health of their... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Engrossing, forgiving and quietly wise, Songs never makes a false step as Packer keeps both the pages and her readers' minds turning until the very end." People Magazine

Review:

"A quiet narrative whose emotions, we come to realize, run deep and true....Commendably ambitious and ultimately rewarding." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"As in The Dive From Clausen's Pier, Packer makes the ripples from one act so involving, you can't pull away." Good Housekeeping

Review:

"What's most impressive...is Packer's ability to set a story in the wealthy and beautiful suburbs of San Francisco and make her characters' suffering authentic." USA Today

Review:

"A novel has the potential not simply to hold up a mirror to our known experience but also to reflect the seemingly indecipherable tangle of our inner worlds." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[A] close and careful look at the bonds of friendship, and the painful aftermath when a loved one follows the sad compulsion to end her own life." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"[R]eaders will be pleased to find Packer's remarkable talent for characterization in the pages of her second novel." Charlotte Observer

Synopsis:

From the author of the bestselling The Dive from Clausen's Pier comes her long-awaited second novel in which she takes readers on a journey into a lifelong friendship pushed to the breaking point.

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

katatrina, May 19, 2009 (view all comments by katatrina)
Ann Packer is able to create characters that resonate with her readers, no matter what. The characters in this book were interesting and well-developed, and I enjoyed the back-and-forth of viewpoints and angles for the story. I think it was a well-crafted book, and I had been yearning for a book I couldn't put down. This was it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
Kate Deeks, October 22, 2008 (view all comments by Kate Deeks)
WORDSTOCK AUTHOR APPEARANCE:

Packer will be appearing at Wordstock on Saturday, November 8, at 2:00 p.m. on the Powell's Stage to read from the book and take questions from readers.

www.wordstockfestival.com
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(18 of 38 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375727177
Author:
Packer, Ann
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Self-perception
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
20080831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
7.94x5.20x.82 in. .61 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Songs without Words (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375727177 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Every once in a while a book comes along that is so astonishing you can't find words to articulate how you feel about it — instead you give away your copy and say, "Just read it." In this unnerving and utterly moving novel about the depth of women's friendships, Ann Packer delivers each poetic passage with a quiet force that reveals how meaningful the seemingly mundane facts of modern life really are.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Packer follows her well-received first novel, The Dive from Clausen's Pier, with a richly nuanced meditation on the place of friendship in women's lives. Liz and Sarabeth's childhood friendship deepened following Sarabeth's mother's suicide when the girls were 16; now the two women are in their 40s and living in the Bay Area. Responsible mother-of-two Liz has come to see eccentric, bohemian Sarabeth, with her tendency to enter into inappropriate relationships with men, as more like another child than as a sister or mutually supportive friend. When Liz's teenage daughter, Lauren, perpetuates a crisis, Liz doubts her parenting abilities; Sarabeth is plunged into uncomfortable memories; and the hidden fragilities of what seemed a steadfast relationship come to the fore. Packer adroitly navigates Lauren's teen despair, Sarabeth's lonely longings and Liz's feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Although Liz's husband, Brody, and other men in the book are less than compelling, Packer gets deep into the perspectives of Liz, Sarabeth and Lauren, and follows out their conflicts with an unsentimental sympathy. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Engrossing, forgiving and quietly wise, Songs never makes a false step as Packer keeps both the pages and her readers' minds turning until the very end."
"Review" by , "A quiet narrative whose emotions, we come to realize, run deep and true....Commendably ambitious and ultimately rewarding."
"Review" by , "As in The Dive From Clausen's Pier, Packer makes the ripples from one act so involving, you can't pull away."
"Review" by , "What's most impressive...is Packer's ability to set a story in the wealthy and beautiful suburbs of San Francisco and make her characters' suffering authentic."
"Review" by , "A novel has the potential not simply to hold up a mirror to our known experience but also to reflect the seemingly indecipherable tangle of our inner worlds."
"Review" by , "[A] close and careful look at the bonds of friendship, and the painful aftermath when a loved one follows the sad compulsion to end her own life."
"Review" by , "[R]eaders will be pleased to find Packer's remarkable talent for characterization in the pages of her second novel."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the bestselling The Dive from Clausen's Pier comes her long-awaited second novel in which she takes readers on a journey into a lifelong friendship pushed to the breaking point.
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