The Deep End Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Deep End

Joanne Hunter, a 41-year-old suburban housewife, has been living an ordinary, largely uneventful life with her husband Paul, a criminal lawyer, to whom she has been married almost 20 years, and raising their two daughters: 12-year-old Lulu and 15-year-old Robin. Then unexpectedly her world starts to fall apart. Paul comes home early one day and tells her he needs time alone to think about his life and what he wants, and that he is moving out, maybe for a while, maybe permanently. Joanne is stunned speechless and Paul packs some things and leaves.
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Around this time Joanne starts getting calls in which the caller says nothing, but soon after starts threatening her. Joanne becomes afraid and tells her best friend Eve who lives next door, but Eve doesn't really take it seriously. Eve is preoccupied with pains and sickness at the time, so Joanne doesn't say much more about it. Joanne also tells Paul about the calls, but he doesn't really take it seriously either he thinks she is making it up so that he will move back home to be with her. Joanne doesn't tell her daughters about the calls because she doesn't want to upset them. Her parents are dead and she doesn't really have any other friends to tell, so she is left to deal with the calls by herself.

Joanne asks Paul about an alarm system, and he has one installed in the house. This makes Joanne feel somewhat safer, but the caller who has said things in some of the calls that make her realize he has been watching her and following her. Joanne talks to the police, but they tell her there is nothing they can do unless the caller makes a move, like break into her house.

Once Joanne's daughters are away for the summer at summer camp, she ponders her life without Paul and realizes that this separation may be good for her too, as she never really had any time on her own or made any major decisions alone, having lived with her parents until she married young. Joanne's attitude toward the caller also changes, as she slowly goes from being fearful when answering the phone to being angry at the caller and slamming down the phone on him. She does continue, though, to keep the alarm system on and be wary.

The review of this Book prepared by Crystal

Chapter Analysis of The Deep End

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Husband Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   midlife crisis Crime & Police story    -   Yes Story of    -   being hunted by killer/stalker Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   homemaker Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   wealthy

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Joy Fielding Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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