Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Body Surfing

Wow, it's been awhile since I've done a book review! I've read a few books since my last review post, but nothing that I wanted to blog about, I guess! I just finished Anita Shreve's "Body Surfing." I've read a lot of Shreve's books, all but one, (I think) which is in my "books to read" pile. My favorite Shreve book is "The Pilot's Wife" - not surprising since that is one of her most famous books. If you haven't read it, check it out. It's a "stay up all night because I have to know how this all turns out" kind of read. Which are the best kinds, even though they leave you feeling darn groggy the next day!!

In "Body Surfing," we meet Sydney, a 29 year old woman who has already been divorced AND widowed. She spends the summer tutoring the daughter of a well-to-do couple that summers at a quaint Oceanside cottage. Sydney then meets the two older sons of the couple, both of which have feelings for her.... and so the plot thickens....

It was a pretty good book. The writing style was a lot different than her other books. The beginning of the book was sort of choppy. Lots of short sentences. Short paragraphs. Jumping around from thought to thought. But maybe her reason for using that style was to get the reader into the book easily (worked for me). I didn't want to like the book because of that writing style though, but I did read it over the course of 2-3 days, so I can't say it ruined the booked for me. The author's voice on this book was different. The whole book was written in 3rd person, but I kept thinking it was written in 1st person. I have never stopped and thought about the voice of the author, so something was a little different about this book. I can't exactly put my finger on what Shreve did, though, and I didn't really like it.

All in all, it was a good, quick read. I think the title of the book is representative of Sydney's life - body surfing can be a lot of fun, but like many adventure activities, there are risks involves and catching the wrong wave, or catching a wave at the wrong time can have some pretty painful outcomes.

As a side note - I have actually gone body surfing. When I was studying abroad in Australia, some of my Aussie friends encouraged me to give it a try. I dang near killed myself doing it. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but it wasn't an enjoyable experience... My Aussie friend who was showing me how to do it neglected to tell me to arch my back when trying to catch a wave... Seems like a pretty insignificant detail, but trust me, it wasn't. Not arching my back resulted in now 'riding' the wave - instead I was slammed into the ocean floor each time. It was an interesting experience to say the least!

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