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Lovely, Dark and Deep Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144243435X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442434356
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Wren is a different person since the car accident that she walked away from, but that killed her boyfriend moments after their breakup. Months later, she has retreated from her old cosmopolitan life to her father’s art studio in northern Maine, where she can be left alone to run, sleep, and sink into a silence that begins to resemble a deep depression. Despite the months of self-imposed silence, Wren is won over by the persistence of Cal, an architecture student also taking a break, hiding out, and dealing with his worsening MS. This first novel, like the poem alluded to in the title, finds beauty, wonder, trepidation, and determination quietly and in small moments. The wandering pace is perfectly evocative of Wren’s mental state and the unfolding of her relationship with Cal, but it may deter readers who prefer less reflection. Display this thoughtful meditation alongside favorites from the likes of John Green, Sarah Zarr, and Courtney Summers. Grades 9-12. --Heather Booth

Review

“The story of Wren’s overwhelming grief and fragile new love is truthful, poetic and unflinchingly raw. An emotional and deeply insightful read.” (E. Lockhart, author of The Boyfriend List and the Printz Honor and National Book Award Finalist The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks)

“In achingly beautiful prose, Amy McNamara has written a story of grief and bravery and hope that has the power to both haunt and heal. LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP is a masterful debut.” (Nina LaCour, author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments)

“LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP earns each one of its title’s adjectives. Wren is one of the most compelling narrators I've ever come across. Her heart is large, her voice is convincing, and her journey matters...I'll keep this book on my shelf, and return to its riches again and again.” (Laura Kasischke, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Space, in Chains)

"Wren’s quiet emergence from despair rings true." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This first novel, like the poem alluded to in the title, finds beauty, wonder, trepidation, and
determination quietly and in small moments." (Booklist)

More About the Author

Amy McNamara learned to read at three and hasn't put the book down since. She holds a BA in French literature and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her manuscript of poetry THE NEW HEAD CHRONOMETRIST has been a finalist for many book awards. LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP is her first novel. She's hard at work on her second one and lives in NYC with her honey and their two kids.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
Seamless writing, engaging, real.
bookaholic
Wren is so broken throughout most of the story, but we get to watch her make her new path through the world.
Lori
The ending felt kind of anti-climatic, like just an end of a chapter rather than the story.
Ari Bookzilla

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lovey Dovey Books on October 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Debut author, Amy McNamara's, stunning portrait of a young woman's grief in the most extreme stage shall touch the heart of every reader. Lovely, Dark, and Deep's Wren Wells may be a pseudo-recluse living in a secluded area in Maine with her father, but she lays her pain on the table for any who bother to see. The death of Wren's boyfriend, Patrick, and the many factors that surround his death, sends her life off-course. Living with her sculpting father, Wren hopes to get herself straightened out and back to pursuing her carefully laid out goals. Her time spent out of touch with society: friends, work, and passion, leave her parents worried and her mind close to shutting down. The aspect of living in the small town that Wren didn't count on, was finding a reason to emerge from the darkness in which she's shrouded herself.

Wren is strong, even when she feels like hiding away from the world, but she knows that her misery is something that's physically and mentally holding her back. Characters that are, at least, partially aware of themselves in such a manner are fascinating to read about. Wren walks herself towards moving on from a tragic accident, though not without help, but she pushes readers toward encouraging her, backtracks toward pitying her, then comes full circle to hopefulness that she'll finally make real progress. Cal Owens flows into the novel like a knight in shining armor, almost. He has his own story that I wish McNamara could have explained in more detail, because I wasn't too familiar with the source of his troubles, but overall he added to the path of hope Wren could choose to ignore or follow. Wren and Cal are drawn together by their similarities and differences when it comes to dealing with grief.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bookaholic on November 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is wonderful. It's not about magic and the supernatural. It's about heartache and loss and rediscovering yourself. Love this book! Seamless writing, engaging, real.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nikki Wang on November 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wow. Just absolutely wowness. Lovely, Dark, and Deep is actually the perfect words to describe it--minus the deep and adding emotional. This is definitely an amazing book to debut with and that cover is just plain gorgeous in my opinion! Seriously. WHAT is with all these beautiful covers, and premises that I just can't resist?

The writing was so, so, SO stunning. I think it's because McNara decided to use present tense, unlike most books which use past. Personally, I love it when people use present terms. "The snow falls softly" sounds more...poetic, I guess than "The snow fell softly". And I just love how the words seem to flow more like that. So seeing that this was in present tense? Well my expectations went a bit higher and I was a bit worried that it wouldn't quite reach my expectations.

I loved the characters. they weren't necessarily far from perfect, but they had feelings that you could fell with them. They had the reactions some of us would have. Wren was such a real character, you guys. She went through so much, and even though she could be considered " self-centered", everyone has to admit, we'd probably do the same or at least something similar. And that's what I loved! the author captured these emotions, these actions, so perfectly, in my opinion. And that was...that was wonderful, for lack of a better word.
Cal, was, on the other hand, not perfect, per say, but very very close. He did react like some people would too, but...he's like, a mix of all the kind reactions. Nothing he did was ever really mean or even slightly annoying. He was just a character you had to fall in love with, sweet and so understanding, so I guess I can't complain there!

The romance was something I was iffy about.
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By Natalie2238 on April 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovely, Dark and Deep was a good book. It was a very emotional book though, so be prepared when you read it. It might make you cry or see life differently. I would definitely suggest it to readers who enjoy sad books. It does have a good ending, but it is more of a realistic ending then a happy one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like the poem referenced in the title, this story of two broken teenagers healing one another resonates in the mind long after you close the covers. Lovely lovely book.
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By Shawna on December 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I chose the book for a holiday read purely based on the cover art and title. I love Frost's poem so I couldn't ignore it. The story of Wren is a beautiful journey of strength and character. I thought that it might become too depressing or overly dramatic but McNamara was able to blend Wren's tragedy with her budding friendships. Don't miss out.
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Format: Hardcover
I wish the outside of the book had given me some clue that it was all about grief. (I got it from the library-- the only summary was the inside cover-- a bit of prose about how she gets away from the world by going into the forest). I think it's important that these types of books exist, but I'm not always in the mood for them at all times, so it's nice to have a "warning" of sorts.

The language was pretty and poetic, which was probably my favorite part about the book. It's something I'd like to model my own writing around. I’m also curious about the Larkin poetry that was frequently referenced, which probably couldn’t be reprinted due to copyright issues.

This book was definitely "real", but it was also a downer. While I like books that cover tough issues, I personally prefer more resilient main characters that have at least some sense of humor. There is no humor in this book-- any potential humor from other characters is greatly overshadowed by the Wren's depression/anxiety. However, if you're looking for an honest, emotional portrayal of one person's struggle with loss and how it changes her life, then this book does a good job of this. I feel like I understand these issues better after reading it.
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