>A few months ago I received an early copy of Tom’s book, “To Be Sung Underwater”, at a local mystery bookstore in downtown Seattle. I’d put off the book due to my own novel, blogs and biz and it sat. Finally I picked up the mystery tome and read. WOW! What a ‘coming of age’ story! I could not put it down.
A few books I’ve read have been ‘coming of age’ and they’re just abysmal. They drag, they’re boring and they have ALOT of inner character monologues that are torturous to slog through (mini reviews can be found on my linkedin profile). Tom McNeal really gets how a teenage girl thinks and how a grown woman reflects back into her own path. He touches on depression, angst, sexuality, compassion and manipulation. There are multi-generations that deal with the same issues over and again.
The characters are fully developed with many sides, even the minor characters. Places are well described with nuances and nods. Having lived in Nebraska myself for quite some time, it was refreshing to see the mid-country state described with such tenderness and not derision. He took us through the main character’s college years with such detail that my own college experiences came to the forefront of my mind. Relationships are brought together, dissected and examined.