Friday, March 6, 2009

Song Without Words by Ann Packer

I really like Ann Packer, but there are moments that I really hate Ann Packer. She has a way of peeling back the covers we use to hide what we really are and her characters stand exposed in front of the world. It's not a pretty site, and it's absolutely beautiful!

Sarabeth and Liz grow up intertwined: best friends, neighbors, survivors. Sarabeth's mom commits suicide while Sarabeth is in high school. She moves in with Liz and her family when her dad flees the life he is left with.

Then the story speeds up to today...Sarabeth and Liz still live tangled lives. Liz is the responsible stay-at-home mom of two teens and Sarabeth has a series of 1/2 jobs and barely gets by on her bohemian lifestyle.

But - then things change...Lauren (Liz's daughter) attempts suicide...and life falls apart of one and all. Liz, who has always been the one on top, the one with it all together, the one who doesn't stumble has had her life shredded into tiny unfamiliar pieces. And she falls flat on her face.

So, Sarabeth, who's life has been a train wreck should be there to help her best friend...but she can't be. She is frozen in the hell of her own life. Hiding in a living room filled with tiny items scavenged from each relationship she has been a part of.

This isn't one of those books that is easy and fast and a true escape. No way..instead it's hard and uncomfortable and moves in spurts and stutters and is rather ugly for much of the time and then without anyone really noticing, it's better. It's life.

I waited and waited for the title to make sense.. Sarabeth comments a couple of time about the song she hears in her head. Near the end we find out that hearing the song is fine - it's when you start to hear the words that are in the song...that's when you need to be afraid! It was the words that drove Lauren to make four long cuts on one wrist and two on the other.

That gives me something to think about... me who listens to the negative voice in my head way to often...maybe I need to strain to hear the music instead! :)