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Learning to Swim: A Novel Paperback – December 20, 2011
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“From the grabber beginning to the heartfelt conclusion, Sara J. Henry's Learning to Swim is an auspicious debut ... Fresh setting, well-realized characters, cleanly written, with a mysterious and suspenseful story.” —Daniel Woodrell, author of The Maid's Version
“Emotional, intense, and engrossing... The talented Sara J. Henry introduces a thoroughly modern heroine with an independent spirit and a tender heart.” —Lisa Unger, author of In the Blood
“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, author of Watching You
“Readers will root for Troy Chance from the dramatic opening of Learning to Swim right through to its surprising close. Move over, Kinsey Millhone.” —Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Four Ms. Bradwells
“From its shocking opening to its stunning conclusion, Learning to Swim is a frightening ride. Sara J. Henry will quite literally take your breath away.” —J.T. Ellison, author of The Lost Key
“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.”
—Quinn Cummings, author of Notes from the Underwire
“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
“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
“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
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.
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.
"If I'd blinked, I would have missed it. But I didn't, and I saw something fall from the rear deck of the opposite ferry: a small, wide-eyed human face, in one tiny frozen moment, as it plummeted toward the water."
If those two sentences grab you like they did me, go out immediately and buy this book! It is well-written, captivating, and ultimately an overall satisfying read. I love the way the author, developed the protagonist, Troy Chance. Troy's comments about being single, sleeping with dogs, and preferring male roommates made her seem like someone I'd hang out with. As a mother myself, I totally understood her quick and deep devotion to the boy she saved and her observation that all of it "seemed to make sense at the time."
I read this book in a little over 24 hours, in between working a full-time job and taking care of a four year old. Yes, it was that engrossing. In the world of TV episodes, this book could have ended at chapter 15, but knowing it was only halfway done, I could only wait for the other shoe to drop. On that note, I could totally see this book as a movie. (But would hate that because they always ruin books that way.) I've been talking about this book so much, that I already have three friends lined up to borrow it now that I've finished!
Not only that but she's able to use her journalistic skills to get clues the police weren't able to find - seems a bit far fetched. When she gets close to the boy's father and discovers someone is tampering with his company it seems unbelievable - if his company is as successful as you're lead to believe (he lives in a mansion, has a live-in nanny/cook, drives a luxury car and wears Armani suits) then I think he would have employed an IT person at some point - instead it takes a woman of average computer skills to set up a backup system on his computer? Come on, that's not believable! Additionally, the main character seemed very flat except at certain times. She doesn't show emotion to her closest female friend yet she's so attached to the small boy after only a short period of time she's willing to change her life dramatically for him? Her exboyfriend makes an odd appearance in the book, one that seemed necessary only because the author couldn't find another way to tie together the book. And without ruining the climactic moment of the story, I found the last portion of the book - when it all comes together and the mystery is solved - to be, what else, slightly unbelievable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beginning with the second sentence, the novel grabbed me, and never faltered. I fell in love with all the law-abiding characters, especially with the gentle, innocent child. Read morePublished 1 day ago by R. Garrison
This novel was written in the first person and told basically in the order as things happened. I loved the way the main character told how she reacted to the events that took her... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Miss Tippy
Enjoyed the book. Thought I figured out the ending but still a little surprise!Published 3 days ago by R. Dill
This was a very very good book and a thriller to the end. Your try to put yourself in her place but some of the choices she mad I may of done differently but than I think she made... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book starts out with a JUMP (literally & emotionally) and grabs you. You find you can't let go - just like the female protagonist. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Cheryl Len
If a novel has not caught my interest by chapter two or three it would be disgarded quickly. This book was a page graber from the very start. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Lethia Fox