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Extended Audio Sample Body Surfing: A Novel Audiobook, by Anita Shreve Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,508 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anita Shreve Narrator: Lolita Davidovich Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2007 ISBN: 9781594838750
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At the age of 29, Sydney has already been once divorced and once widowed. Trying to regain her footing, she has answered an ad to tutor the teenage daughter of a well-to-do couple as they spend a summer in their oceanfront New Hampshire cottage. But when the Edwards’ two grown sons, Ben and Jeff, arrive at the beach house, Sydney finds herself caught up in a destructive web of old tensions and bitter divisions. As the brothers vie for her affections, the fragile existence Sydney has rebuilt is threatened. 

With the subtle wit, lyrical language, and brilliant insight into the human heart, Shreve weaves a story about marriage, family, and the supreme courage it takes to love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Shreve quite rightly emphasizes the importance of plunging into life bravely again and again, no matter how tumbled one gets by the waves of fate. Unfortunately, people in pain tend to look and act as wretchedly as they feel, and when at last they stumble out of the surf, rarely is anyone smitten with them. Usually the beach is deserted, not a dry towel in sight.” 

    Washington Post

  • Body Surfing fulfills the promise set by Shreve’s previous novels, as the reader becomes engaged from page one and finds herself mulling the conclusion when the last page has been turned.” 

    Fredericksburg Free Lance–Star

  • “Shreve’s…control is masterful, particularly in the sure-handed and compassionate aftermath.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “As a portrait of a woman belatedly coming of age after being buffeted by fate, Body Surfing is well drawn and will satisfy Shreve’s fans.” 

    Kirkus Reviews 

  • “The ever-skillful Shreve delivers yet another gripping read that will satisfy her many fans and earn her some new ones.”

    Booklist

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aimee | 2/20/2014

    " I thought the story overall was interesting. I'm not a fan of the way this author writes so I was a little annoyed and would skip paragraphs sometimes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kimberley | 2/14/2014

    " Not one of her best. Pretty predictable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jason | 2/10/2014

    " I gave this two stars because it is a welcome distraction from the military/crime/technical novels I uaually read, though I have a lot to agree with thhose who gave her one star. It was pretty dry, boring, and predictable. I almost didn't finish it, stopped about the last chapter or two, read another book, then said "what the hey" and finished it, and the end was about exactly what I figured. *shrug* It is ok, but not great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanna | 1/31/2014

    " Her usual incredible writing, but the love story was a let down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsty Darbyshire | 1/29/2014

    " A fab book, deeper than some of Shreve's recent work. She's back in the same house on the New England coast that has featured in several of her other novels. This is good if you've read them. If you haven't the exposition about the house's history is probably a bit incestuous and certainly extraneous to the story here.Sydney Sklar, only about 28 years old or so I think, has already weathered two marriages: divorcing an aviator who was likely to kill himself and being widowed by a doctor who, well, just died. She comes to the house as an employee, tutoring eighteen year old Julie, and gets caught up in another family's web.Shreve does place very well:- I feel like I know the coast and the sea here and I could have told you we were back at the same house before she did. The characters can seem a bit watery too, but I'm not really complaining. They don't always feel like real people but I like them that way. I also like the way the writing flips between present and past tenses; it could drive you nuts but the device is used well and it doesn't.All in all: a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Iiris | 1/27/2014

    " I liked the book. Made me feel like I was part of the story, sitting on the porch, watching the sea, the narration was very vivid. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MaryBeth | 1/24/2014

    " So kill me - Anita Shreve is my "guilty pleasure" writer! Always a good story that you can read in an evening or two. This one was just ok. Not one of her best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JoAnn | 1/23/2014

    " Thanks my for the reccomendation. I like it,didn't want it to end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 June | 1/11/2014

    " A story that never seemed to develop into what it could have been - a family dynamic. The love of one to turn sour, the question of what next with a brother. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pat Luke | 1/9/2014

    " I'm one of those people who hass to finish a book no matter what. This one was a bit disapointing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Veronica | 12/19/2013

    " Enjoyable book. Not unlike Shreve's others. Ending left me wondering. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Myleen | 11/25/2013

    " awesome book from beginning to end!!!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennie | 9/9/2013

    " A very quick easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suwah | 7/29/2013

    " I liked this book and found myself surprised by some of what happened. But some of the actions of Sydney seem a little unbelievable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginger Griffith | 6/12/2013

    " Body Surfing is a masterful story of family, life, and pain. It's a page turner.If you love the oceam, as i do, you will love Body Surfing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith M. | 6/12/2013

    " Written in a style that is very different from her usual writing, it took me a while to get used to this book. The interesting writing style grew on me and I enjoyed Shreve's writing as much as I usually do. I was not crazy about the ending, but flew through this book and enjoyed it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol Vuillemenot | 4/6/2013

    " This is the second Shreve book that I've tried. I still don't like her writing style (choppy?), but I liked the characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mindy Braxton | 1/13/2013

    " I liked this book, but I did struggle through parts of it. I didn't feel like the main character evolved as much as I would have liked. She didn't learn from her mistakes and in the end she was still making them. It isn't a bad book though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debra Meehan | 12/17/2012

    " Not enthralling but a nice read. Writing style was crisp--not exactly my taste. Characters developed enough that it evoked emotion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tempest | 10/17/2012

    " This book was really good, descriptive, and filled with family drama, and I liked it- until the end. I thought that this book had a strange and less-than fulfilling ending. A good story and excellent, intelligent characters... but a very bad ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbi | 4/23/2012

    " Very good change of life........finding oneself type of book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 12/28/2011

    " I liked this book a lot. I couldn't put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dbarkla | 12/24/2011

    " Anita Shreve never disapoints! Love all her books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly Rose | 10/28/2011

    " This had a slow start but ended up ok as a summer read. No where as good as her Pilot's Wife. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marguerite | 8/18/2011

    " Shreve has a formulaic approach. Even knowing that, I enjoyed it anyway. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristy | 7/16/2011

    " This was a light enjoyable read. I may try some of her others. She has a lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Humkeb | 6/25/2011

    "
    Anita Shreve is a favorite author! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 6/21/2011

    " This book takes place at the same beach house as "The Pilot's Wife" and "Fortune's Rock" and Anita Shreve continues to write books that always keep you guessing as to what will happen next. I enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Midge | 6/17/2011

    " Check out the summary above...I couldn't do better myself. This is a good summer read... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MaryBeth | 6/15/2011

    " So kill me - Anita Shreve is my "guilty pleasure" writer! Always a good story that you can read in an evening or two. This one was just ok. Not one of her best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 6/10/2011

    " I just truly enjoy Shreve's novels. I do get a bit bummed at the tragic endings, though.... This one was a nice change with its open end. Not one of her best but loved the beach setting and the twist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 6/9/2011

    " Very enjoyable to read, quite sad to finish this story, want to know what happens to the characters next... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 6/1/2011

    " Interesting writing style for this book. Story about a woman whose life takes many turns by the age of 29, divorced and widowed and how she begins to believe in love again.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 5/24/2011

    " This book takes place .in the same setting as Fortune's Rocks and the Pilot's Wife; the New Hampshire sea cottage near Ely Falls. Story was pretty good, but somewhat predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juliet | 5/19/2011

    " I had a difficult time falling into this book. However, once I did, I kept falling! I love it! My only complaint - I wish there was no end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 5/11/2011

    " I love to swim in the ocean, the book was good but not great, I have loved some of her books. "

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About the Author
Author Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels, including Rescue; A Change in AltitudeTestimonyThe Pilot’s Wife, which was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club; and The Weight of Water, which was a finalist for England’s Orange Prize. She lives in Massachusetts.