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

Lovely, Dark and Deep

by Amy McNamara

Lovely, Dark and Deep
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2012, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2013, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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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 ...

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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).

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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

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

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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 ...

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