To Be Sung Underwater

To Be Sung Underwater

A Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
As the veneer of Judith Whitman's happy life in California is beginning to crack, she recalls the serenity she felt decades earlier, when she was 17 and living in her father's house in Nebraska. There -- before her marriage to a banker, before the birth of her daughter, before her career as a film editor -- Judith met Willy Blunt, a carpenter whose pale blue eyes and easy smile awakened the reckless girl he alone imagined her to be. If she were to encounter Willy again, could Judith reconnect with her purer, better self?
Publisher: New York : Back Bay Books, 2012, c2011
Edition: 1st Back Bay pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780316127387
Branch Call Number: F MCN NVD
Characteristics: 436, 10 p. ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: To be sung under water


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 05, 2016

I'm a little embarrassed to say that I loved this book. The narrator in her youth and the Willy she fell for were not exactly paragons of intellect or humanity, but I thought the reunion was absolutely lovely. The kindness and honesty that developed between them was so well crafted. And the ending! Oh, my.

Dec 30, 2011

Judith Whitman goes to live with her college teacher father in the Great Plains of northwest Nebraska and meets a slightly older local boy Willy Blunt. Yes, it's a love story.

McNeal is not someone I'd read before, but like others taught under Wallace Stegner's influence at Stanford, I'll seek out his books at every opportunity. He's imagined characters and plot to perfection; his sentences are beautiful. A favorite goes something like this: To Willy's mind Judith's summer with him was simply one of her life's chapters; for Willy it had been the whole book. Just read it!

knitlynn Oct 23, 2011

Nancy recommended this highly

Oct 17, 2011

This book was recommended to me by a friend but I cannot recommend it myself. The plot is painfully slow and the characters are single dimensional and, well, boring. The conclusion is weak and meaningless and in my opinion unbelievable. If I were the publisher, I would have rejected the book or suggested it be reformatted into a short story (at least that way one might believe that there were unspoken qualities to the characters. I was a little bit embarassed that I even bothered to finish it but since it was recommended to me by someone I like, well...hope springs eternal.

Sep 13, 2011

I loved everything about this book. The use of language is quite intelligent yet the story is quite simple. It's about a woman, married with a child, who often thinks back on her first love. Thinking that her husband has cheated on her, she takes steps to contact that love. I was saddened to find out that Tom McNeal only wrote one other novel. I was looking forward to reading a lot more of him.

Sep 13, 2011

The story is really in Part 3.

Aug 28, 2011

i absolutely LOVED this book! The characters are engaging, the writing is beautiful and the story is bittersweet.

Aug 02, 2011

A very interesting read and although I am not a fan of love stories I liked this book and how they were able to find each other again. The whole storage locker thing got way too much time in this book and didn't really seem to tie in with the rest of the story line. Terrible way to end this book although it will stick with me forever I think.

Jul 20, 2011

I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit slow in the beginning but the pace picked up in Part 2. The ending was abrupt and a total disappointment in my opinion. Would make a good movie. P.S>Don't read the prologue.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at NVDPL

To Top