Summary and book reviews of Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

Lovely, Dark and Deep

by Amy McNamara

Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara X
Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2012, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2013, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A resonant debut novel about retreating from the world after losing everything - and the connections that force you to rejoin it.

Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn't survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her father's studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone.

Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal's hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her.

Chapter 1

john
wells'
daughter

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

I had things I didn't want, and then I lost them. One minute I was breaking up with my boyfriend, Patrick, the next I was the only one left standing. Empty-handed. A ghost of who I'd been. Broken in a way you can't see when you meet me.

My name is Mamie, but my dad calls me Wren. My parents never agreed on anything when they were married, so I answer to both names. I like having a spare. Especially now. Besides, it drives my mother nuts. She thinks my dad calls me Wren to bug her. She says she named me Mamie because it means "wished-for child" and she had to try so hard to have me. Like she conjured me out of sheer will. Which she probably did. That's the kind of person she is. But I looked it up, and it also means "bitter." Either way, Mamie died on the side of a road somewhere back in my old life, and I moved away. Now I'm Wren full time, in a house on the Edge of the Known World, upper East ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

This haunting, lyrical story is Amy McNamara's debut, but it is clear that she is an accomplished poet who loves words and the very specific ways deep, true emotions can be conveyed by them. I highly recommend this book to young adults and adults alike, especially those who love lyrical writing and deep emotional exploration.   (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).

Full Review (808 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Despite minor flaws, Wren's quiet emergence from despair rings true. Ages 14+.

Booklist
This first novel, like the poem alluded to in the title, finds beauty, wonder, trepidation, and determination quietly and in small moments.

Author Blurb E. Lockhart, author of The Boyfriend List and the Printz Honor and National Book Award Finalist The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
The story of Wren's overwhelming grief and fragile new love is truthful, poetic and unflinchingly raw. An emotional and deeply insightful read.

Author Blurb Nina LaCour, author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments
In achingly beautiful prose, Amy McNamara has written a story of grief and bravery and hope that has the power to both haunt and heal. Lovely, Dark and Deep is a masterful debut.

Reader Reviews

beth

couldn't put it down
Lovely, Dark and Deep was an amazing read. Every book I had read I would finish and put down but two years later I still find myself coming back to it and reading it more and more. Amy McNamara did a fabulous job in description and portrayal of ...   Read More

mecatrett

Mirror of my Soul
This book was beautiful. I found myself understanding and connecting with Wren's thoughts and feelings, even though I have not suffered from events similar to hers. That's the beautiful thing about this novel: the author makes her easy to relate to ...   Read More

Louise J

Lots of Emotion
Mamie – but Dad calls her Wren. Her parents never agreed on anything when they married, so she answers to both names. There is a lot of emotion packed into Lovely, Dark and Deep. While reading along you can empathize and feel Wren’s many ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Amy McNamara

Amy McNamaraAmy McNamara is a Midwesterner who moved to Brooklyn where she lives with her husband, the artist Doug McNamara, and their two children.

She has an MFA in Poetry and was published first as a poet, but was a writer of prose before all of that. At eight she wrote her first story about a cricket hanging onto the hood ornament of her father's car for dear life. (So she seems to have a penchant for highly emotional topics!) She wrote prose until her mid-twenties and then turned to poetry, but always read novels and short stories. When it was time to write Lovely, Dark and Deep it just came out as a novel, and so she let it be what it needed to be.

Poetry and prose both come from the same place for McNamara - an image. From there she ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Lovely, Dark and Deep, try these:

  • Six Feet Over It jacket

    Six Feet Over It

    by Jennifer Longo

    Published 2016

    About this book

    Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo's YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.

  • I'll Give You the Sun jacket

    I'll Give You the Sun

    by Jandy Nelson

    Published 2015

    About this book

    A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell. Winner of the BookBrowse 2014 Award for Best Young Adult Novel.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Smiling Man
    The Smiling Man
    by Joseph Knox
    Joseph Knox's latest turns on a simple premise: an unidentified and unidentifiable murdered man is ...
  • Book Jacket: The Heavens
    The Heavens
    by Sandra Newman
    I've been a big fan of Sandra Newman's writing ever since reading her 2014 novel The Country of Ice ...
  • Book Jacket: Sugar Run
    Sugar Run
    by Mesha Maren
    Mesha Maren's debut novel is a plunge into the depths of the dark Southern gothic with pulsing and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    American Princess
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    Rated 4.9 stars by BookBrowse members - one of the highest scores of all time!
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A People's History of Heaven
    by Mathangi Subramanian

    A story of love and friendship, and fighting for the places we love.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.