To Be Sung Underwater
So opens Tom McNeal's To Be Sung Underwater (Little, Brown), part coming-of-age story and part tale of long-lost love. The novel juxtaposes Judith's current life as a film editor in California with the time she spent as a teenager in Rufus Sage, Nebraska, living with her professor father after her parents' separation. Past and present merge when Judith hires a private detective to find her man-that-got-away, the rough but sweet Blunt, who believes "There really isn't anything of importance except maybe who gets handed your heart and what they do with it." This lovely novel is quiet and smart, drawing you so deeply into the characters that the ending might just leave you coming up for air.