Kolleen's Reviews > Body Surfing
***SPOILERS*** Anita Shreve is one of those authors who I just always have to read her books. Some of them are so powerfully written, like The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water, and some of them are just okay, quick reads to pass the time. This happened to be one of those books. The writing was broken up into small, sporadic paragraphs which made for a very quick read, and I found the first part of the book to be very well developed. I loved the relationship between Sydney and Julie, and Sydney's past was just heartbreaking, especially the death of her husband Daniel. One of the best quotes of the book was when Sydney described her loss: "She remembers their particular fit, her pale leg slipping between his two when they lay together after making love, as if their limbs had been deliberately fashioned for this purpose. The way Daniel would never cross a room without glancing at her face. The way he'd come home from his shift, drained, searching for her, room to room, only the sight of her allowing him access to a normal life." It just captivates the true sense of the love that she had that is now lost.
However, when the brothers come home and compete for her attention, the story just turns dramatic. Entertaining, but a little over-done and far-fetched. Jeff and Ben, two brothers, fight over Sydney from when they first lay eyes on her. Sydney and Jeff end up having a relationship and engagement 11 months into the relationship (after having already been married twice, you think she wouldn't rush into it), only to have Jeff leave her at the alter because he never really loved her in the first place, it was just all a game to spite his brother.
In the end, I ended up with more questions than answers. What was the signifigance of Julie ending up a lesbian? What was the original problem between the brothers to make Jeff go to that extent to hurt both Ben and Sydney? And why did Jeff's mom hate Sydney so much, and then apologize at the end? All in all, it was a good book with all of Shreve's trademark plots: love triangles, affairs, jealousy, and betrayel. It's just disappointing to see an author with such potential that can produce such moving and powerful stories to just compose a mediocre novel.