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Publisher's Summary

A riveting novel about loyalty and self-knowledge and the conflict between who we want to be to others and who we must be for ourselves.

Carrie Bell has lived in Wisconsin all her life. She's had the same best friend, the same good relationship with her mother, the same boyfriend - Mike, now her fiancé - for as long as anyone can remember. It's with real surprise she finds that, at age 23, her life has begun to feel suffocating. She longs for a change, an upheaval, a chance to begin again.

That chance is granted to her, terribly, when Mike is injured in an accident. Now Carrie has to question everything she thought she knew about herself and the meaning of home. She must ask: How much do we owe the people we love? Is it a sign of strength or of weakness to walk away from someone in need?

The Dive from Clausen's Pier reminds us how precarious our lives are and how quickly they can be divided into before and after, whether by random accident or by the forces of our own desires. It begins with a disaster that could happen out of the blue in anybody's life, and it forces us to ask how we would bear up in the face of tragedy and what we know, or think we know, about our deepest allegiances. Elegantly written and ferociously paced, emotionally nuanced and morally complex, The Dive from Clausen's Pier marks the emergence of a prodigiously gifted new novelist.

©2002 Ann Packer (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

" The Dive from Clausen's Pier is one of those small miracles that reinforce our faith in fiction. It does what the best novels so often do, making the largest things visible by its perfect rendering of life on the smaller scale. It is witty, tragic and touching, and beguiling from the first page." (Scott Turow)

"The novels it calls most to mind...are Allegra Goodman's Kaaterskill Falls and Sue Miller's The Good Mother...its most admirable trait - and surely the one that will define Packer's future work - is its moral authenticity." (Gail Caldwell, Boston Globe)

"A reflective and probing first novel...there's not a false note in the story's tentative resolution, which thwarts our initial expectations in order to satisfy more complex demands.... Very fine fiction indeed." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Must read!

Such a great story and the way it was told definitely helped with understanding all the events that were going on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • paige
  • United States
  • 07-20-16

Disappointing on many levels

First, I found myself disliking the main character which made the first person narration difficult to take.
Second, Cassandra Campbell is one of my favorite narrators, but she took a whiny tone for the main character that was highly annoying.
Finally, the story itself evolved into something so terribly disappointing that I feel like I've just wasted the past many hours listening.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrators voice depresses me

I think the story was ok, but the narrator makes every sentence sound sad. Too depressing

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I'm not really sure what I just listened to.

This book was incredibly, I mean incredibly, slow moving. It was not captivating in the slightest. At the end I kind of feel like I just listened to a 15 hour boring story from a coworker.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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loved it!

couldn't put it down. very realistic. a great beach read but with substance. I will read more.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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In my opinion

For the most part, I enjoyed the book. It got long winded, and lost me in some parts, but overall, I'm glad I read it. Somewhat disappointed in the ending...it seemed to leave too many questions.