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Learning to Swim: A Novel Hardcover – February 22, 2011
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When Troy Chance spots what she thinks is a small boy being tossed off the back of a passing ferry, she instinctively jumps into the icy waters of Lake Champlain. She rescues the youngster and discovers that his arms were bound with an adult sweatshirt. He’s incredibly frightened, speaks only French, and won’t tell her what happened. Troy determines that she will keep him safe rather than turn him over to the police. When he finally begins to confide in her, he tells a bizarre tale of being kidnapped, hearing his mother murdered by gunshot, and then being held for months. As Troy tracks down the boy’s father, she begins to question whether she will be able to let him go, since he has unleashed within her a maternal instinct she had no idea she possessed. In her debut, the first in a projected series, Henry proves herself to be a smooth and compelling storyteller. And her lead is highly appealing: an athletic, fiercely independent young woman who, like crime-fiction author Gillian Flynn’s feisty females, is capable of making delightfully acerbic observations. --Joanne Wilkinson
“A single woman dives headlong from a ferry into Lake Champlain to rescue a child, and then must figure out what to do with him. Compulsively readable, this is all about what we do for love.” —Boston Globe
“In Henry’s tense first novel, a young woman rescues a boy from the waters of Lake Champlain, only to see her unruffled life abruptly give way to an unfamiliar world of wealth, privilege and danger. ” —The New York Times
“From the opening page, Learning to Swim is a terrific debut. This moving and insightful psychological thriller features the inspiring Troy Chance—an everywoman hero who women will admire and men will want to meet. I can’t wait for her next adventure.”
—Michael Robotham, bestselling author of Bleed for Me and The Wreckage
“Learning to Swim is a thriller of the most thrilling kind—a smart and crafty story with whiffs of Rebecca that insists from the first sentence that you sit down and not stand up again until you've read the last word. Tell your loved ones to take care of themselves.”
—Quinn Cummings, author of Notes from the Underwire
“In her debut, the first in a projected series, Henry proves herself to be a smooth and compelling storyteller. And her lead is highly appealing: an athletic, fiercely independent young woman who, like crime-fiction author Gillian Flynn’s feisty females, is capable of making delightfully acerbic observations.” —Booklist
“Sara J. Henry’s debut starts with a bang—or, more literally, a splash—and doesn’t let up until the final page.” —BookPage
“Freelance writer Troy Chance, the protagonist of Henry's impressive first novel, impulsively, and literally, dives into trouble when she sees a youngster fall from a ferry boat on Lake Champlain. ... Henry adroitly handles Troy’s exposure to new emotions as she reexamines her life and relationships.” —Publishers Weekly
“A compelling plot, a pervading sense of foreboding, well-constructed characters.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Take a gulp of air before diving into Vermonter Sara J. Henry’s new mystery, because you’re likely to hold your breath for the whole first chapter.” —Rutland Herald “This debut novel is a stunner. This disturbing, moving, compelling book will keep readers engaged until the very last page. It is smart, intense, and full of unexpected plot twists.”—Tucson Citizen
“Part mystery thriller, part family tragedy, part tentative romance, it succeeds on all levels.”—Knoxville News Sentinel
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Top Customer Reviews
Some books defy categorization. This is one of them. It is both women's fiction and mystery/thriller, both emotionally moving and suspenseful. The complexity underlying what could have been a pretty straightforward mystery novel makes this a truly unique reading experience. I read this book in a single day -- it has that intangible "something" that keeps you turning the pages even when your eyes are drooping and the hour grows late. I was happily surprised by how much I liked it.
This book is one of those books. I love that the character doesn't do the "expected" thing. That she cares, and is curious, and honest. I love learning about the little boy, his background, and realizing just how dysfunctional some people can be.
I highly recommend this book.
Tucked within this thriller are meditations on the nature of family, how bonding happens, the dangers of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable - things you will take with you, when you climb out of the swift-moving river that is LEARNING TO SWIM.
Bring a towel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was ok, but I was bored throughout. The characters with the exception of Paul were very flat.Read more
And I never saw it coming! Wow!