Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Learning To Swim

Title:  Learning To Swim
Author:  Sarah J. Henry
Publication Information: Broadway Paperbacks, Crown Publishing Group, Random House Inc. 2011. 350 pages.

Book Source:  I picked this book because the description sounded interesting as I was browsing through our library's online catalog.

Favorite Quote:  "You can't create emotions. You can fake them or pretend they don't matter. But I've tried both, and it never works."

Learning To Swim is a mystery. It is the story of Troy Chance. On a ferry in Lake Champlain, she sees a child fall into the lake. She jumps in and saves him. His name is Paul, and he won't say how and why he ended up there. Troy brings him home, and waits to see if someone comes looking for him. No one does. Thus starts the mystery that Troy attempts to unravel - Who is this child? How did he end up on a ferry by himself? How did he fall in? Why isn't anyone looking for him?

The start of the book is enjoyable if you willingly suspend the disbelief that someone would discover a child and not immediately report it. Unfortunately, for me, it deteriorates from there. The sequence of events and characters seems implausible. Some things seem to come together too conveniently, and some like the ending seem to arrive out of nowhere.

Threaded throughout the book are hints about Troy's past. This mystery leads Troy on a journey of self-discovery as well. Where she is in life and where she is going. Learning to Swim becomes a metaphor for learning to live. However, it never becomes clear what exactly in her past has led to her current life and the choices she makes when she finds Paul. That aspect is never fully explored and hence feels incomplete.

So, unfortunately, the book does not live up to the interest generated by its description.

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