Sunday, April 30, 2017

Swimming Lessons

Flora and Nan have returned to their quaint seaside town in England to care for their father, Gil, after he took a bad fall - turns out he is much more ill than they had imagined. Gil, a literary icon has never truly recovered from his wife’s disappearance twelve years earlier. Ingrid had been a loving mother and adoring wife but her inner demons and long held secrets emerge in a series of letters Gil finds hidden in his massive book collection. The story alternates the present day with letters describing the past and the real story of Ingrid and Gil. Young beautiful student enamored by older successful professor – becomes pregnant – enters shaky marriage and sacrifices her future. Ingrid has no support, no family. She craves love and attention. Their bohemian lifestyle and her dependence on him is suffocating his creative genius. When 12 years later he imagines seeing her through the bookstore window, the daughters, though skeptical, want to believe their mother loved them enough to return. I recommend this book purely for the captivating writing and style in which it is presented. I loved the manner in which the letters told the story. I was slightly bored at times through the repetitive swimming/ocean/beach descriptions. It is slow paced and little actually happens but the characters were interesting and it easily held me until the end. I guess I’m on the fence with this one but I would most certainly read this author again.

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