Book Reviews

Review: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

Lovely, Dark and Deep is a story about grief. It’s messy and full of times when we lash out, when we lose control. And McNamara’s debut showcases all these refracted lights. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn’t survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her father’s studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone.

Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her.


TW: suicidal ideation, miscarrige

Lovely, Dark and Deep is full of emotions. Wren is reeling from the grief of losing her boyfriend. Surrounded by people who just want her to be over it, Wren’s story is heart wrenching. It’s about the tenderness of death. How no one wants to approach this glass bubble you find yourself in. Or how they make it about themselves. All these comments which are meant with good intentions – to not lose momentum, to stay busy – but are also full of the ways our grief inconveniences.

And Wren ends up meeting Cal who is running so far, so fast, from what haunts him too. Lovely, Dark and Deep is about grief, but it’s also about discovery. About Wren getting to know who she is now. Memories which will swamp us, push us under a current of renewed pain. But to figure out who she is now. When she has a moment to simply be, who will emerge? Grief which scoops us out. That leaves us wanting to be silent and to scream.

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Lovely, Dark and Deep is Wren’s story of her meandering through grief and fog. It’s a story about two people who find each other and need to figure out if they have the bravery to stick. Wren’s journey is one that learns to accept the space between moments. The second before trying to ‘rein it in’, and to let grief and emotions inhabit us. It’s an emotional story that I think will resonate with readers and a stunning debut. Find Lovely, Dark and Deep on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite story that features grief?

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