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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Waiting to Surface

Listfield, Emily. Waiting to Surface. I've put off writing this one because the book just didn't appeal to me. It is based on a period in the author's life in which her husband, an artist, vanished from a Florida beach. No body was ever recovered, and the author found herself in a strange limbo.

In the fictitious version, Sarah Larkin's husband Todd disappears. The local detective believes Todd has left his family and does not want to be found. Sarah hires a private detective, but nothing turns up. Did Todd Larkin drown by accident or by intent? Or has he just abandoned his family and gone on to create a new life?

One of the most annoying things about the book is the emphasis on designer clothing. Sarah works for a woman's magazine, in a highly competitive and bitchy environment. The descriptions of characters are often no more than the clothes they wore.

Paige "had on skintight jeans, emerald green Manolos, and a top that, to the untrained eye, looked suspiciously like lingerie."

Noah "strode in first, wearing jeans, a white Izod shirt, and battered Pumas, his hair ruffled and hinting at highlights just growing out, though of course they could have been put in last night with that very intention."

I wanted to find out about Todd, but never intensely. Nothing really pulled me into this novel - not the characters, not even what could have been a great plot. Feeling a little guilty because this was an ARC book sent by the publisher, I checked the Amazon reviews and all were quite positive. Oh, well...

Fiction (based on fact). Chic lit? 2007. 307 pages.


  1. The descriptions of characters are often no more than the clothes they wore.

    Now that's not very appetizing. :-( I am sorry you didn't enjoy this book more. I have it on my shelf to read, but admit it's not one I'm all that eager to get to right away. Thanks for your review!

  2. I have this one on my shelf too. Bummer that it wasn't as compelling as you hoped it'd be. I'll let you know how it goes when I finally get to it.

  3. I too have this one in my TBR. I'll also confess that it has not called to me yet. The premise sounds interesting but not terribly compelling. I'll write about it when it finally makes its way to the top! Ha! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. L.F. - I feel bad about not enjoying the book because the author went through such a terrible situation, but it never quite seemed real. And the magazine portions bored me to tears; I'm really not interested in people that shallow, manipulative, and mean.

    iliana -- Well, like I said, I checked the Amazon reviews, and they were all good... Hope you like it better!

    Kay -- :) I'll be waiting for your opinion, too. Maybe you and iliana will find more in it than I did!

  5. Sounds very chick litty, but i love the title.

  6. I'm with literary feline, it doesn't sound all that interesting if everyone is going to be described by the clothes they are wearing. I'll admit I've never heard of this one before. I too will be interested to see what the others have to say when they read it! Thanks for the review!!

  7. One of my book-clubs (the non Classics one) selected this book for November of which the meeting I'll miss. When I checked it out at the bookstore, my first impression was a setting that befits The Devil Wears Prada! Anyway I think it might make an interesting read if someone is stuck at the airport and has nothing else to read! :)

  8. I don't like character descriptions that are only about the clothes. The description of Noah is especially vague to me because I don't know what Izod shirts and Pumas are.

    The title is beautiful in a bitter-sweet way and conveys the sense of being in an in between state.

  9. Yeah, that designer/brand name clothing pisses me off, too. Reminds me of Judith Krantz, and now that she's no longer at the top of the bestseller lists, I'd really rather not remember.

  10. Maggie -- It didn't appeal to me, but I'm eager to hear about other views on it. The title really fits!

    Kristina -- The artist husband who disappeared seemed more interesting than the wife who was left.

    Matt -- Oh, yes, I thought of the movie, too! What a world that must be...

    Booklogged -- :) I do know what Izod shirts are, but I'm not sure about Pumas. Yes, the title is quite relevant to the story.

    Bybee -- I've never read anything by Krantz but remember seeing her on bestseller lists!

  11. Oh, ugh. I have this one, too. I picked it up and it didn't appeal to me, so I put it back down and read The Accidental Mother, instead - and loved it. I can't stand a focus on designer clothing; I want characters to have depth. Maybe I'll skip this one and read The Art Thief, instead - think that's the correct title. Thanks for the warning. I don't put a lot of stock in Amazon reviews, myself. I appreciate your honesty.

  12. Bookfool -- I find that I'm finishing a lot of books that don't seem to merit the effort lately. I'm adding The Accidental Mother to my list.