Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Swimming Lessons

I recently finished Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller.  It was a page turner.  I would sit down and suddenly be 50 pages farther.  The book is written where one chapter is set in the present and the next chapter is written in letter form and tells the story of the past.  It was a good format.  I got so frustrated with the characters in a good way!

Ingrid meets Gil when she is in his college class.  He is much older than her and even though she has aspirations of this feminist lifestyle she is going to lead, she falls in love and becomes the wife of the fledgling author who isn't very feminist.

The book opens with Gil many years later who thinks he sees his missing/dead wife.  Because Ingrid disappears.  She leaves one day for a swim and doesn't return.  But as the reader learns, she's left letters.  Letters that are stuffed into the many books that Gil has in their house.  This "sighting" causes a severe injury to Gil and the return of his daughter Flora to the family home.

The book quickly captures the reader into the mystery of what has become of Ingrid and the inner workings of this eccentric family.  The characters grapple with the idea of is it better to know the truth or is it better to just wonder.  This is a theme throughout the book.

It was our book club pick for the month and I can't wait to discuss it.

Description: Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan.

Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her. Scandalous and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a passionate and troubled marriage. 

Would you want to know the truth about a loved ones disappearance or would you rather wonder and have open possibilities?

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