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This week I read the newly published novel Swimming Lessons, by Claire Fuller. I think if you are looking for a summer read that has a little depth, this one may be for you! You will see it above in the picture, with my awesome homemade latte. Which on a side note, a milk frother is one of these BEST things in the world! Now I can make all kinds of coffee or tea lattes at home.
This novel is the story of a marriage. It’s told through two plots that are approaching each other the whole novel. Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband Gil, a philandering famous author, about the real truths that were present in their marriage. She hides these letters in random books of his vast collection. After she has finished her final letter, Ingrid disappears. She leaves behind her husband, two daughters, and the story of a marriage through the letters she has written.
The family is left with the unknown of her death or disappearance, and overtime weighs heavy on them all. Twelve years later, Flora gets a phone call from her sister in which she is told her father has injured himself. Flora then heads home to join her sister to take care of their father, Gil.
First off, this book will be hard to talk about in great details without spoiling it! So I won’t do that, but you should know I thought it was great. The way that the author has set up this novel with each chapter bouncing back and forth between letters from Ingrid, and the present day is brilliant. I thought it was extremely readable, and I kept telling myself, “One more chapter” which every bookworm can understand turned into more!
The two characters that I felt like the author did a great job portraying were Ingrid and Flora. It was hard to read at parts as it just felt like you were inside their heads, and feeling their emotions. You felt hearts breaking, deep loneliness, and the water on their skin.
What was so intriguing to me about Flora’s character was her perspective on her father, and how it differed so much from reality. In her eyes her father was everything she could have ever asked for, juxtaposed to what Ingrid and her sister saw him as.
The big theme that I took away from this novel was whether the truth is left better unsaid. Which initially can feel harder not to know, but then having to deal with the raw truth of a secret can be your undoing.
Well, that is all I have to say about this one. If you read or have read it, let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Now I’m off to choose my next one, and I’m torn between The Road and re-reading Anne of Green Gables. Guess you will have to wait and see!