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Swimming Lessons by [Fuller, Claire]
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Swimming Lessons Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Length: 356 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Editorial Reviews Review

An Amazon Best Book of February 2017: A famous elderly author looks out the window of a bookstore and thinks he sees his deceased wife. Upset by this event, he takes a near-fatal tumble and winds up in the hospital. Flora, his youngest daughter, returns home to help care for him—shortly thereafter, letters from her mother will be discovered hidden inside the books of her father’s prized library. Thus begin two plotlines, as Flora and her sister care for their father, and as their mother’s letters lay out her side of the marriage—starting with their first meeting when she was a student and he was a professor. Is their mother dead now, or did she run away? And what other secrets are hidden inside the letters? Well-paced and finely detailed, Swimming Lessons is a mystery about an uncoiling family that will keep you turning pages and cause your loyalties to ebb and flow like a tide. --Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review


“As she did in her first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days (2015), Fuller proves to be a master of temporal space, taking readers through flashbacks and epistolary chapters at a pace timed to create wonder and suspense. It’s her beautiful prose, though, that rounds this one out, as she delves deeply to examine the legacies of a flawed and passionate marriage.”

“Ingrid is a brave but floundering heroine who puts down "all the things [she hasn't] been able to say in person" in her letters, resulting in a portrait so intimate, you feel as if you've read a novel written on the secret walls of her very mind. A deeply moving read, with a mystery that keeps you turning pages.
-, Editor's Pick

“As in her gorgeously harrowing Our Endless Numbered Days, Claire Fuller returns to the territory of a mother’s disappearance and a father’s lies with bewitching and page-turning results. If anything, Swimming Lessons is an even more complex puzzle box of a book, excavating darkly knotted family secrets, intricately cruel betrayals and layers of ambiguous loss. Fuller is so clear eyed, poised and psychologically shrewd in the unfolding of her tale, you will be kept guessing until the final penetrating sentence. An extraordinarily smart and satisfying read.”
- Paula McLain, author of THE PARIS WIFE

Playing out the various scenarios is almost like a “choose your own adventure” story for adults. For me, Ingrid’s story, voice, and perspective, makes for a haunting, motivating, and fantastic read.”
- Steph Opitz, Book of the Month Club Selection

Swimming Lessons continues Claire Fuller’s mastery of beautiful language and heartbreaking imagery, which lays bare the stories of infidelities, lies, revivals of love and then demise of those loves.  The women of this novel fight for their very souls, and their stories unfurl like flags of independence appearing in to wave from her landscape of great books and art and hope”
- Susan Straight, author of BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HERE

“Claire Fuller has captured love in its fullest form, nursed on betrayal and regret and guilt. Gil cheats on and abandons his wife too many times, until she disappears, leaving her clothing on the beach, and he can't know even if she's still alive. She leaves only letters, hidden in a great library of books, and he'll search for her until his end. Swimming Lessonsis so smoothly, beautifully written, and the human failures here are heartbreaking.
- David Vann, author of AQUARIUM

“Claire Fuller's acrobatic new novel, about a family who has failed each other, inverts our expectations of narrative time to an astonishing effect: our experience of grasping for truth about those who have left is just as pained and urgent as her characters'. Fuller's sentences are condensed maps of the human process, unfolding in patterns we immediately recognize.”
- Kathleen Alcott, author of INFINITE HOME

Swimming Lessons hovers in the electric space between secrets and connection, between the desire to love and urge to hide. This is a biting, soaring novel.

“Fuller's tale is eloquent, harrowing, raw . . . [this] mystery is sure to keep readers inching off their seats.”
- Kirkus Reviews

Saving the best for last with revelations and surprises, Fuller’s well-crafted, intricate tale captures the strengths and shortcomings of ordinary people to show how healing is possible by confronting the darkest places.”
- Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Like Fuller’s stunning debut, Swimming Lessons is a story suffused with the poignancy of miscommunication between people who love each other, of the things we can never really know.”
- The Guardian

“[Swimming Lessons] is the story of a passionate but troubled marriage, of mothers and daughters, of letters hidden in books. The writing is efficient and impactful. This would be a perfect book club pick, as it’s a short novel that says a lot, and there’s plenty to unpack.”
- Book Riot

“Fuller has written a profound portrait of marriage, motherhood, and loss. It is a beautiful, devastating book.”
- Powell's Pick of the Month

“Claire Fuller’s newest book is a kind of love letter to the complicated relationships that are part of the real world rather than the romantic fiction we build in our minds.”
- Read It Forward

“When everything we read or watch these days seems to be a facsimile of something else, it's inspiring when a writer of Claire Fuller's talent comes along to give us something fresh and original. In Swimming Lessons, Fuller explores the all too familiar pull of duty, expectation, and guilt between a family in emotional turmoil with an unsentimental eye, recalling some of the best work of the late, great Richard Yates. Fuller's debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, was nothing short of brilliant and I'm here to tell you that she has officially avoided a sophomore slump with this gem of a book. My only complaint is that I have to wait until January of 2017 to share this with the reading public. Claire Fuller is my new favorite.”
- Javier Ramirez, The Book Table

“Claire Fuller is a master of the psychological mystery. In her most recent novel, Swimming Lessons, no one is running around with a gun and no physical violence occurs. And yet damage happens. Families are cut to the bone. And lingering wounds are left festering into adulthood. This is a work that explores the very nature of forgiveness: how much should be forgiven before it becomes a burden, or before it becomes a secret life inside you until you can't even forgive yourself? It's a deliciously written story within a story that isn't over until the last page has been turned.
- Pam Cady, University Book Store

With Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller confirms her place as a writer of exceptional insight and warmth. This tale of a marriage, of a family, and especially of children bearing the brunt of the fallout of betrayals and abandonment, pulls you in and refuses to let you emerge from the lives of its characters until the tale is finally told. Even then it takes time to shake the spell the book creates. A wonderful follow-up to OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS that explores similar themes through an entirely different story, Swimming Lessons will be a great book for fans of her first novel and for new fans alike.”
- Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books

Claire Fuller’s Swimming Lessons is a beautifully told literary mystery that weaves together the lives and loves of people defined by deceit and a questionable disappearance. Like her debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, Fuller tiptoes brilliantly through delicate subjects.”
- Joanne Berg, Mystery to Me

I loved it and was caught up in it so thoroughly that it was my companion during every meal I ate until I finished the book. I have also never felt so inclined to leave marginalia in a book as I did after reading Swimming Lessons.”
- Katie Orphan, The Last Bookstore

 I could not put Swimming Lessons down and read it in one sitting! It lingered in my thoughts long after I finished. Marvelous! A must read!”
- Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette Bookstore

Product details

  • File Size: 2215 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Tin House Books (February 7, 2017)
  • Publication Date: February 7, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,499 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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