Tom McNeal's second novel, To Be Sung Underwater, is perhaps the perfect "end of summer" read. McNeal has written one of the most romantic, lush, and surprising love stories I have read in a long time. Judith Toomey, raised in Vermont, spends the summer with her father in Nebraska shortly after her parents separated. She meets Willy Blunt, raised on a farm and working as a carpenter. The two spend an idyllic summer together in far-reaching pastoral corners of the Nebraska plains. The story weaves between Judith's life as an adult living in Los Angeles married to a successful banker and the telling of her first experience of love that fated summer in Nebraska. The novel explores how we either let go of or hold on to what has shaped us.
The New York Times recently had a feature on McNeal's beautiful home amidst the orange groves of Southern California. Interestingly, the airy, colorful, peaceful photos of his home seem to align with the style of his writing. His home is downright gorgeous, just like his novel. Check out these fabulous photos: