Body Surfing by Anita Shreve

February 26, 2010

A book I bought to feed my aching burning need for summer.  Le sigh.  I have all kinds of fumbling thoughts about the book.  Great book I just mean I'm all over the place about what to say.  I bought the hardback on clearance from B&N for like, $6 bucks.  Steal!

It's about a young woman, who after one divorce and becoming a widow, she decides to take a ridiculously overpaid position as a tutor for a Cap Cod family.  Sydney (MC) gets herself caught in a love triangle with her 16 year old pupil's older brothers.

My biggest compliment to Anita would be how amazing she develops and explains the relationships the MC has with everyone else.  Everyone else consisting of five other important characters:  Julie the pupil, Jeff and Ben the older brothers of pupil, and Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, the parents of the pupil.  Each relationship is pivotal to the growth of Sydney, especially after the death of her second husband.

Anita Shreve creates these bonds or riffs, that have you totally loving or hating each character for different reasons. There are moments in the book where I saw it coming, but it didn't detour me from finishing it.  I hear Anita has written several books with this particular beach house being the scene.  Grab your tissue, because in the end I wept.

Now before you run out and buy this book, I must warn you, many negative critiques compared it to Nicolas Sparks or Harlequin romance.  I read neither because I find them too cheesy.  I did not however, find this cheesy but more like a soft tug at your heart strings and a big yearning to vacation for a summer in Massachusetts.

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  1. Man, I soooo want summer to be here now. And this sounds like a very interesting book. I may have to give it a read. Thanks for the review.

  2. I picked this book up about a year ago and I really liked it too! I have read some Nicolas Sparks in the past and I don't really see similarities... other than it's a love story. Shreve writes with a unique lyrical style that Sparks just doesn't do. I didn't think it was too cheesy either. I loved the ending! :D

  3. Thanks for the rec. I'll have to check it out.

    Also, I see from the margins you're reading The Lightning Thief with your son. Good book. I hope you're enjoying it.

  4. BJ - I'm going to Palm Desert for a week next month, it'll be like a summer teaser. *squeals* I can't wait.

    Valerie - THe ending is so endearing. The last two chapters I bawled, sad and happy.

    Dominique - So far I like it, the first page intro is PERFECT for young kids. You remember, feeling like there really might me magic, mystical beings in our presence. So far really cool. He whizzed through it and is on the second one. My heart sighs with happiness to see him roll out of bed and grab his book first thing.

  5. Great review! I really enjoyed the book, but I think it's Shreve's style that always has me coming back to her books. A certain breathlessness, that tension in longing--she captures it so well.

    Gosh, now I want to reread this book. I haven't read it since it first came out! And yes, $6? Total steal!

  6. Shreve writes with a unique lyrical style that Sparks just doesn't do. I didn't think it was too cheesy either. I loved the ending!

    Work from home India

  7. Carolina - You said it perfect, breathlessness, that tension in longing. Le sigh.

    Kanishk - The ending, so beautiful, it just felt like home.

  8. It sounds well worth finding a copy. Breathless tension sounds like the perfect antidote for winter - snow, sleet and, at best, drizzle!
    This post has given me something more pleasant to think about. :)


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