Ann Packer: The Dive From Clausen's Pier

The Dive From Clausen's Pier - Ann Packer

After I finished it, I just lay there asking myself why the book ended the way it did. It reminded me of a "women's book" from the 1940s (back before there was chick-lit) where the main character would strike out on her own to do something daring like have a career (silly woman! that's man's work!), only to discover that the price was too high, and return in to her proper place as wife and mother. By writing this cliché and setting it in the 1990s (I presume, from the fashion references), is Packer trying to add something to this tradition? Sadly, I don't think so: I think she is unaware of the pulpy past, and so she is doomed to repeat it.


Her portrayal of 23-year-old Carrie, bouncing between herself-with-Mike and herself-with-Kilroy, was probably a pretty accurate of the state of weak self-identity that young women go through. I wish she had taken that state and made something interesting out of it, but that didn't happen. Not recommended.