"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)
When I like something I'll let you know. If I don't, I'll let you know that too!
Learning to Swim is a solid novel that I found enjoyable on many levels. I was initially drawn to this book because I lived and traveled in the areas where the story is set. The author does a terrific job of describing the area and the people in the North Country of New York, Vermont, and Ottawa. What Ms. Henry also terrifically accomplishes is to tell an enjoyable story of instant compassion, trust and genuine concern for Paul, a little boy thrown from a car ferry into an icy lake. The characters we meet are well developed and real. After saving Paul from the lake, Troy looks for those responsible for his abduction and tossing Paul into the lake. This story keeps your interest all the way to the last syllable. I found it to be very fulfilling and an enjoyable story. Learning to Swim is well worth your time. If this is the debut, I very eagerly await her next several books.
it reminds me of Agatha Christies' novels, everybody is a suspect! up until the last chapter with the plus of a feminine touch...a very realistic romance....and even there you're just not quite sure who mr. right is gonna be. not the typical predictable story not quite at least.
the narrator has a clear nice voice, does not whine, which is great, but her performance is not five stars, maybe i'm too demanding but a narrator can up or down a book. anyway Miss S. Toran, emphasizes too much in parts, or gives an exaggerated tilt to her voice.....
overall: good entertainment!. really, i usually lissten while walking or at night, but this ....i sneaked each litle free time i had...you won't stop till the end, and then you'll be hoping a sequel or at least the beginning of a series!!!
This book is one of the top three books I have listened to.
The story line was very captivating and it had many paths that kept your interest but they never provided clues that would lead you to the surprising ending.
I hope to hear more of her performances, she was excellent.
If I had enough free time I would have sat down, next to the fireplace and listened to the very end.
The initial event requires one to suspend reality as it was difficult to believe it could have been pulled off. But with that said, I suppose any other scenario would have resulted in the same comment. However, it didn't take anything away from the story and mystery.
Fiction lover, wannabe writer. lost of flights with my new job. Audible is PERFECT to keep me up the books I want to read.
SPOILERS: This was a decent story, I liked the idea, but the execution was off. They found the boy's family much too fast & then dragged out the obvious twist at the end. could have been an effective short story.
I gave it an "overall" four stars because it kept me hooked from the very beginning. The main character seems very real -- and you actually buy that the woman impulsively jumped from the ferry to save the child and that they bonded irrevocably. You want to know WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?! The problem is that not much does. When the "mystery" is finally revealed, it is kind of unsurprising and a bit disappointing. I guess I should credit the writing for the fact that I was hooked regardless -- and will definitely buy the next in the series when it comes out.
The narrator, as others have commented, overdid it. But, just like the weakish storyline was not enough to make you dislike the book, the overacting does not turn you off.
Yes, I know, dammed by faint praise...but I WAS hooked from beginning to end regardless.
I really enjoyed this book. I did not realize when I bought the book, that this was a mystery. Which IMO made the book even better.
The story was well written, and the main characters interesting.
I must get up to Canada, and try some of the fries, with goat cheese and gravy; and washed down with a Pepsi ;-)
Only caveat, is that there were some annoying skips in the recording. Adudible should fix this.
The opening scene is guaranteed to reel you in. A young boy is deliberately thrown overboard and without thinking, our heroine jumps in to save him. She must now discover who the boys parents are and the circumstances that led to him being thrown into the lake.
The romance appeared to have equal importance with the mystery but the ending was surprising. I realise now that this is to be the first book in a series so I guess leaving some things up in the air is appropriate.
Loved the heroine Troy. Thoroughly recommend.
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.
I did enjoy this book. There were problems, it was not perfect, but it was definitely enjoyable. First of all, the recording had some annoying skips. I was shocked by this and have never experienced it before from Audible. It should be fixed.
The author begins with a sure-fire event to draw the reader in quickly. Troy Chance rescues a child thrown off a ferry. It was a gutsy move. To not involve the authorities right away was strange. It helped make the story but I never got a good enough reason for that action (or lack thereof). Then Troy begins to investigate what started the whole process herself. This also was gutsy, but mostly foolish and risky. She has a brother who works in law enforcement who comes into the story periodically but not enough to be real. Or maye he shouldn't have been part of the story to begin with.
There are many loose ends (two big love interests that are not acted upon, for starters) that are obvious potential jumping off points for the next book in a series. Troy frequently voices her perceived lack of sex appeal but them immediately is placed in a situation where the author portrays her as a knock-out. The conclusion of the story was not satisfying to me. It kind of came out of nowhere. Or maybe it just wasn't consistent enough with the breadcrumbs being left as the story is being told.
Narration was well done, like the story itself it was not perfect but enjoyable.
I will try the next book by this author, but I won't hold my breath waiting for it.
I'm an avid reader since childhood. I'm a retired science teacher, retired nuclear plant worker and grandmother of three. I love mysteries.
While I thought the story was quite unlikely I still enjoyed how it was told. It was surprisingly gripping for such a far-fetched tale. I will be getting more books by this author.
This is one of the best and most exciting books I have read or listened to for a while. The story is completely gripping and original and I couldn't put it down. It's very well written and the narration is excellent. Apparently this is Sara J Henry's first novel and I hope she's going to write lots more.
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