"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

14 May 2014

2014 Book Review #19: the girl who stopped swimming

This book was.......odd.

A little disturbing.

I didn't really care for it, although I did like it in places.  I ended up skimming the last part of the book, just to finish it. 


Laurel is a mom of one daughter (Shelby) and is married to David.  They live in a wealthy neighborhood in Florida. It is a gated community.
Laurel hasn't "seen a ghost" in over 13 years. She has made a good life for herself, David and Shelby.  She makes art quilts and they are known around the nation. One hot evening, she wakes up to see a dead girl....a ghost....standing by her bedside.  It is Shelby's best friend Molly.  Molly leads Laurel to herself floating in the backyard pool.  Soon her home is swarmed by police and neighbors.  Laurel's carefully constructed existence begins to crack and she has to face her past.

Laurel and her older sister Thalia grew up in a blue-collar town and the family has been hiding a skeleton in their closet for years.  Thalia became an actress and is very unconventional.  Her life is always a mess and definitely doesn't go along well with Laurel's careful life.  But...Molly won't rest until someone learns the secrets.....and she has opened a door that Laurel won't be able to close by herself.  So she turns to Thalia for help.

Together they set out on the journey of dealing with their family's buried past, the real state of Laurel's seemingly perfect marriage, and what really happened to the girl who stopped swimming.


I'm not a fan of "ghost" stories but my sister had said this was a good book. It WAS well written but just isn't my style.  

The past and the present were interwoven with no breaks in the actual structure of the paragraphs/chapters, so I was always confused about where in Laurel's life I was.  That annoyed me.

The character development though is superb.  The author does a great job with describing each character...including dead Uncle Marty.

This book deals with drug addiction, poverty, and pedophilia.  It isn't one of my faves for sure but message about dealing with the past is evident.  The author also makes it a point to display, through the characters of Laurel and her daughter Shelby, that telling the truth is very important. Laurel was so busy shielding her daughter from the "bad things" in life that this lesson was learned a little late.  The book does have some good humorous parts which I did enjoy. 

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older. (due to theme/content).

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 7.


Susanne said...

Doesn't sound like something I would enjoy either. But the cover would have drawn me to pick it up.

Melanie Lopata said...

LOL actually kind of sounds like something I'd like :)

I usually do the same though, with books I'm not a fan of...skimming to the end just to see what happens!