Body Surfing: Book summary and reviews of Body Surfing by Anita Shreve

Body Surfing

A Novel

by Anita Shreve

Body Surfing
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2007
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

At the age of 29, Sydney has already been once divorced and once widowed. Trying to regain her footing once again, she has answered an ad to tutor the teenage daughter of a well to-do couple as they spend a sultry summer in their oceanfront New Hampshire cottage. But when the Edwards' two grown sons, Ben and Jeff, arrive at the beach house, Sydney finds herself caught up in a destructive web of old tensions and bitter divisions. As the brothers vie for her affections, the fragile existence Sydney has rebuilt for herself is threatened.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Shreve's omniscience is asserted with such ease that it often feels like she's toying with her characters, but her control is masterful, particularly in the sure-handed and compassionate aftermath." - PW.

"The ever-skillful Shreve delivers yet another gripping read that will satisfy her many fans and earn her some new ones."- Booklist.

"Shreve's beautifully drawn tale of family and connection will leave readers feeling a bit slammed themselves: against the vagaries of life and the rocky shoals of love. A winner; highly recommended." - Library Journal.

"Not one of this crowd-pleasing author's best, but a solid, workmanlike B-plus effort. " - Kirkus.

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Reader Reviews

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Jocelyn

Body Surfing
I've read other books by Anita Shreve, so I don't know how I missed Body Surfing.

Shreve has written a series of books that all take place in the same house on the New Hampshire coast. Body Surfing takes place in the present, while the other books were all set in the past.

The book is about Sydney, 29 years old, divorced once and widowed once. She is not sure where she is going with her life, so she takes a job of tutoring a high school junior, Julie, during the summer. Julie's family owns a seaside house in New Hampshire where they summer. Her brothers, Ben and Jeff, are grown, but visit their parents often. Sydney realizes that Julie is not a stellar student, and struggles with getting her ready to take the SAT's until she finds out that Julie is very artistic.

When Sydney meets Jeff and Ben they seem to have some rivalry between them, but there is more going on. Jeff sweeps her off her feet and Ben pulls away.

The book is an interesting examination of a family with some issues. Sydney's presence affects the family in different ways.

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Author Information

Anita Shreve Author Biography

Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts. Her novels include The Pilot's Wife, The Weight of Water, Eden Close, Strange Fits of Passion, Where or When, and Resistance. She divides her time between Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Anita Shreve began writing fiction while working as a high school teacher after graduating from Tufts University. Although one of her first published stories, "Past the Island, Drifting," was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1975, Shreve felt she couldn't make a living as a fiction writer so she became a journalist. She traveled to Africa and spent three years in Kenya, writing articles that appeared in magazines such as Quest, US, and Newsweek. Back in the United States, she turned to raising her children and writing freelance articles for ...

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