A resonant debut novel about retreating from the world after losing everything—and the connections that force you to rejoin it.
Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her.
Oh, what a precious book.
With a beautiful cover and a lovely title like that, I definitely couldn't resist bringing it to the cashier right away. Lovely, Dark and Deep does not have any synopsis on the back cover except for some blurbs, but from reviews, this book seems to be about lost and grief, right up my alley. The writer also has a degree in poetry, and I expect beautiful prose and a lot of heartaches in this book.
I'm right :) the book focuses on Wren, a girl who lost her ex-boyfriend in an accident, and she was there in the car with him, but only she survived. She left town and went to live with her estranged artist father, tried to pick up the broken pieces of who she was and discover who she is now. She also meets Cal, a boy with MS, someone who understands how she feels because possibly he's been through a lot of grief too.
What a beautiful book! I'm sucked in immediately and can feel every heartbreak in every page. Wren is a lot like me in some ways - we both wish the world can turn mute sometimes, and when it doesn't, we do. Wren is a misantrophe and socially challenged, she says all the wrong things and doesn't know how to talk to people. I understand why she needs time to figure out some things for herself, and feels hurt when the people around her are trying to get her to change, see a shrink, get a job, not mope around, and just DO something.
After reading more than half of the book, I also get to see why people need her to change. She's too absorbed in her own guilt and anger and sadness that she does not move on with her life. She's often self destructing and lets things be the way they are for too long.
I love all the characters - they are wonderfully built, with the perfect balance to fill the gaps, to both support and push Wren. I love Cal the most, his easy calm, the way he understands her. Everyone has an arc to carry the story forward, and I love that.
Suffice to say, will look out for the next McNamara book! This is a superb debut. 4 out of 5 stars.