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The Dive From Clausen's Pier: A Novel
by Ann Packer

Published: 2003-04-08
Paperback : 432 pages
9 members reading this now
12 clubs reading this now
12 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
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 Packer’s intimate and emotionally thrilling new novel, which has won its author comparisons with Jane Hamilton and Sue Miller.

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Introduction

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 Packer’s 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 Clausen’s Pier animates this dilemma–and Carrie’s startling response to it–with the narrative assurance, exacting realism, and moral complexity we expect from the very best fiction.

Editorial Review

Carrie Bell is the worst person in the world. Or so she would have you think. In the gripping, carefully paced debut novel of personal epiphany, The Dive from Clausen's Pier, by O. Henry Award winner Ann Packer, Carrie's very survival is dependent upon her leaving her fiancé, even after he dives into shallow water at a Memorial Day picnic and becomes paralyzed. Things hadn't been going so well for the Madison, Wisconsin, high school and college sweethearts. Carrie knew, deep down, that she wasn't going to become Mrs. Michael Mayer. But expectations and pressure from all sides--his family, her mother, her best friend Jamie, Mike's best friend Rooster--force Carrie to shut herself up in her room and sew outfits of her own design as if in a trance. Then one night she slips out of the only universe she's ever known. Many hours later she finds herself on the doorstep of a high school classmate living in Manhattan. Carrie's adventures in the city--quirky roommates and a new romance with an older, emotionally impenetrable man--confuse her in her quest both to forgive herself and to embark on a career in fashion design. Packer writes in a convincing voice and packs a lot into this novel; she infuses Carrie with enough humanity and smarts to choose her own version of "happily ever after." --Emily Russin

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by katie1988 (see profile) 07/05/13

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "chat"by katie1988 (see profile) 07/05/13

Great discussion for a club

 
  "3/5 by 4 members"by mindyhayes (see profile) 01/26/09

 
  "So-so book. Main character FINALLY does some growing up"by pennyslager (see profile) 05/23/08

OK, but not one of my favorites. You just want to tell the main character to "grow up".

 
  "Ok book. Not super"by ellentambo (see profile) 03/26/08

 
  "Intriguing premise that does not disappoint"by juliesage (see profile) 03/06/08

Everyone in our book club enjoyed the book, and most said it was one of those books that you just cannot put down.
In the opening pages, the reader is witness to the tragic accident that p
... (read more)

 
  "Such a great book."by brookswell (see profile) 01/15/08

You will love discussing this one.

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