Aug 05, 08
Recommended to Katherine by:
Read in July, 2008
Finishing Ann Packer's The Dive From Clausen's Pier is at once an immense relief and an immense loss. The character Kilroy talks about "hard" art (Picasso) and "soft" art (Matisse) and certainly Packer's is the former. The entire book is one long exercise in feeling and memory, in love and in loss.
Packer such a wonderful writer, she actually makes you feel what Carrie, her main character, feels, even after the book has been closed. Of course, that's what the best of books do. Any yet, somehow it feels more difficult to experience this kind of book as a thirty-something. A young woman, in her twenties or even teens, could love this book and let it leave her with a sense of adventure--with the anticipation of life. That's what I imagine I might have felt reading this a decade ago. But now, I'm left with a sense of regret. Is it Carrie's, or is it mine? How amazing an artist is Packer that I have to ask. And, that I still don't know. Nothing can shake the sense that I've experienced greatness, and lost it.