Flora and Nan’s mother, Ingrid, disappeared many years ago. The story is that she drowned, but Ingrid was a great swimmer and her body was never found. Did she leave her family behind? Did she commit suicide? The girls’ father injures himself after believing he saw Ingrid. Flora and Nan come to his aid and come seeking answers, but this turn of events creates many more questions than before.
First, I’m going to admit that I have had a terrible time reading this book, but not because the book is bad. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller is a good book. Good, but it didn’t blow me away- which might easily be my own fault. I’ve been very busy the past few months and I’ve gotten myself in a reading slump. I tried to read this book a month ago and put it down, but I hate doing that so I’ve been pushing myself to finish it. So, perhaps that is my biggest problem here.
Swimming Lessons is an interesting mystery that is half told in third person narration and half told in Ingrid’s letters that she left behind. This is an interesting way to tell the story of her family. Ingrid’s letters give backstory and help provide clues while the “present day” sections focus on the aftermath of Ingrid’s disappearance. Ingrid’s letters were my favorite part. Her story is interesting- sometimes scandalous and other times you feel for her- her voice is dry but humorous, and I found her much more interesting than her daughters. The other characters had potential, but I felt they weren’t utilized quite enough to be very colorful.
I would say that I liked this novel, but for a mystery I read it very slowly. I wasn’t compelled to keep turning the pages. As a family drama I think it works much better. Perhaps I expected something different from what it is.