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The Dive from Clausen's Pier    by Ann Packer order for
Dive from Clausen's Pier
by Ann Packer
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
* *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Carrie Bell has decided that her life in Wisconsin is too dependable, and she is working up the courage to call off her engagement to Mike. Then Mike is in a tragic accident that makes him a quadriplegic, and Carrie now has to figure out what this means to her and her plans.

Ann Packer's book, The Dive from Clausen's Pier, explores what can happen to us when someone close experiences an irrevocable change in their life. How to grieve, what it means to be loyal, and how to be true to oneself while being present for others are just some of the questions that Carrie faces. Through her we see how family and friends react to Mike's disability. And we watch Carrie as she tries to find out who she is and how she will accept the truth of what has happened.

This book is perfect for discussion. It is very elliptical, which lets us wonder what is going to happen to the various people involved. Mostly though, we learn that only when we can progress through the grief of dwelling on how past events have affected us, to a kind of acceptance of and for ourselves, and to an acknowledgment of how they have affected our loved ones, can we begin to live well and healthily once again.

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