Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another solid debut

I've read a lot of books centered around one event that changes the lives of those involved.

What set "Weeping Underwater Looks a Lot Like Laughter" apart is that that event takes place midway through the novel - not near its beginning.

Michael J. White's work focuses on George Flynn, a high school student newly arrived in Des Moines, and his relationship with his first love Emily and her sister Katie.

It's equal parts adolescent struggle and coping with tragedy. All told through the prism that is George.

"For better or worse," George ponders, "we stuck together, likely as a result of the exchanges relegated to the hours of our separation when we'd lie in our childhood beds with the lights out, whispering by radio with such tenderness and understanding that I was able to set out each morning optimistically indulgent in hope - that cruel crutch known as much for its trickery and ravage as its splendor."

He articulates a feeling many of us have shared, but not phrased so eloquently.

This is White's first novel. (I seem to be finding a lot of debut works lately!) I await more.

- Tricia Ambrose

P.S. I love the title suggestions, Jason!

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