"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."
When she witnesses a small child tumbling from a ferry into Lake Champlain, Troy Chance dives in without thinking. Harrowing moments later, she bobs to the surface, pulling a terrified little boy with her. As the ferry disappears into the distance, she begins a bone-chilling swim nearly a mile to shore towing a tiny passenger. Surprisingly, he speaks only French. He'll acknowledge that his name is Paul; otherwise, he's resolutely mute.
Troy assumes that Paul's frantic parents will be in touch with the police or the press. But what follows is a shocking and deafening silence. And Troy, a freelance writer, finds herself as fiercely determined to protect Paul as she is to find out what happened to him. She'll need skill and courage to survive and protect her charge and herself.
Sara J. Henry's powerful and compelling Learning to Swim will move and disturb listeners right up to its shattering conclusion.
©2011 Sara J. Henry (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Sara J. Henry opens her first novel like a pro.... the throbbing heart of the story is right out of Jane Eyre." (The New York Times Book Review)
"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)
"A compelling plot, a pervading sense of foreboding, well-constructed characters." (Kirkus Reviews)
I was not familiar with the author, nor narrator, but I'm certainly glad I took a chance on them.
Suzanne Toren gave a wonderful performance with the ability to change her voice for the different characters.
You will not get bored with the story, with it's likable characters and intrigue. With one heroic act, many lives are changed. I don't want to be a spoiler, but will say the ending is quite unexpected.
I highly recommend it!
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.
This is a story that leads you to the end with all the subtlety of an anvil. That being said I enjoyed it. There are some glimmers that are very well written and evoke a feeling and a mind picture. The narrator is a little tiresome, particularly when trying to make male voices, they end up sounding a little like a cartoon character (I want to say Foghorn Leghorn but I know that's not right).
It's an average story. One that I enjoyed, but have almost forgotten already.
Great mystery. I kept trying to guess whodunit as I was reading. I didn't expect that the culprit was who it was. It held my attention. The investigation was a bit unbelievele when done by an individual instead of the authorities but regardless, it was a good book.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Learning to Swim was a well thought out novel. Thinking about the novel, one of the best things about it was that there was no foul language. Incredible as is sounds, it made for a good reading experience. The novel didn't use sex as one of its focal points either. Learning to Swim was an all around enjoyable mystery.
I enjoyed all of the characters. Yes, even the not-so-nice one's, too. Sara Henry created well developed character's. The character's were all given essential parts, making it possible to know what made each character a real person. Ottawa, Lake Placid as well as Burlington, seemed to be somewhere that I would like to visit. The author inserted a believable essence to the people as well as the environs. I became involved with a story that I may easily have been a part of.
Suzanne Toren's performance was excellent. She created voices that belonged to the character's. The inflection's needed to create a mood or feeling were well done. I was able to distinguish which character was speaking. Her narrating skills were great.
I would invite Troy out to dinner. First, her choices would be eateries that had reasonable prices but good food. Second, Troy would be an easy person to share a conversation with and she would also be a good listener. She would be honest and if asked to keep the conversation between the two of us, I know that she would not tell another person. Our time shared together would be enjoyable and when I headed for home I would have had a good time with a friend,.
I think that it would be nice if this book would be able to be a series. The ending was different than other novel's but the ending did go along with the author's writing style. The novel was a pleasant read. I would listen to another book written by her and I would also listen to another book narrated by Suzanne Toren.
No. The end of the book just grabbed Mission Impossible facts and forced them together.
Way way too much foreshadowing and teasing the story, combined with red herrings dragged across the path. It had an intriguing first 1/3 to 1/2, but it almost appeared the author had run out of time and had to wrap it up.
The opening and initial premise was good, but the story and writing fell flat. I nearly did not finish it because of the repetitive "I cried" and "tears rolled down my cheeks" which had very little to do with the story.
So: not a good mystery; not a good thriller; not even a good sex and romance. Chopped up with "red herring" type of ending.
Could have done without the constant commercial references -hope the author gets something for the publicity- and without the endless descriptions of everything her characters eat or drink. And pleeease, if ever I needed a list of Gerald Butler's movies, I would go to IMDB !
A good editor would have helped this author keep to those details and descriptions that are actually useful in fleshing out characters and advancing the story.
Interesting use of Canadian setting and bilingual characters. The Quebec French was well written and nicely done by the narrator.
I really enjoyed this story. I found myself eagerly anticipating the chances I had to listen. I liked the performance and became caught up in the characters. It is not a heavy story, but even in its lightness, it was fun.
Sara Henry had a great idea, with a memorable opening line. But she didn't have any additional good ideas after that, and the ideas she did have strain credulity way beyond an author's creative prerogative to make a story flow. If at every turn of the plot the reader thinks, "Pfffft, no one would ever make that choice, no one would ever do that, no one would ever react that way," then it's not well-plotted. It's a non-story, with minimal action, and a somewhat "out of nowhere" culprit at the end. More needed to happen to make this a decent story. Many attempts at character development in this book seem more like building a word count than crafting a memorable protagonist.
As a first time author, she probably is a pretty good writer, and I did listen all the way to the end, rather than give up on it. I wanted to know the outcome, even if I had to listen to the retelling of so much mundane activity.
Suzanne Toren gives a good performance, but her voice seemed to me to be a little too old and experienced to be right for this character.
Loved the first two chapters. What woman wouldn't? You dive off a ferry on the off chance you saw a child thrown into the water from the ferry passing you, and you save that child's life, even though you're no great shakes as a swimmer, less impressive as a diver and you still have to make it to shore. After that, the story sinks into deep snore territory. This writer blew a great lead and set up. Saving the kid was fab. Next time out, save the story too.
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