Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Review: Waiting to Surface by Emily Listfield

It takes just one phone call to change your life...

On a steamy August morning, Sarah Larkin drops her six-year-old daughter, Eliza, off at camp and heads to her office, where she works as an editor of a women's magazine. Sitting at her desk testing a $450 face cream, she is just rubbing it into her forearm when the phone rings.

Detective Ronald Brook, speaking softly and deliberately, tells Sarah that her husband has vanished. A keening sound escapes from Sarah's throat as the detective lays out the few facts he knows.

A noted sculptor, Todd Larkin went swimming at midnight off the coast of Florida and hasn't returned. He was staying with a woman. He was drinking. He left behind his keys, wallet, cell phone, and his return airline ticket. They also found two drawings and pieces of a sculpture. But there is no trace of him or his body. The coast guard has been scouring the shoreline, but no one has seen a thing.

Has Todd run off to start a new life or is he dead? Could it have been an accident, suicide, or homicide? Immediately, Sarah's life spins into a world of uncertainty, hope, and fear as she grapples with the mystery of his disappearance.

I had high hopes for this book, and it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It wasn't bad by any means, but it also didn't grab my attention like I'd hoped it would.

I never found Sarah to be very engaging. I know she was going through a lot and was juggling her job, her daughter and her sorrow, but as a whole she fell flat for me. I actually found the parts about her job as a magazine executive much more interesting than her struggle over her missing husband.

Maybe this book just didn't fit in with my mood at the time I read it...I have heard good things about Ms Listfield's other books, especially Acts of Love, so if you have read other books by her I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. 3 stars


S. Krishna said...

I totally agree with your review. I liked Acts of Love much better!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Sometimes my mood determines how I receive a book. On the other hand, in my mind, if the writing is engaging enough, it should pull you out of the mood, right? To me, if I develop an attitude during reading, it is marginal. When I read the first paragraph or two, it sounded great! Thanks for the head's up!

Tara said...

Too bad you didn't like this more. The premise is interesting.

Unknown said...

It actually sounds quite similar to Best Intentions. I hope that you find the central character much more realistic in Best Intentions, as I found her to be quite engaging. I'll be very interested to hear your comparison of the two.