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Publisher's Summary

"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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    9
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Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Howard
  • Cumberland, MD, United States
  • 10-25-11

A Worthwhile Suspense/Mystery

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.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • north grafton, MA, United States
  • 11-28-11

Good Voice, lots of filler

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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a page turner, unexpectedly good....

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!!!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 10-27-13

Looking For More

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Narration--Great Story!


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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • United States
  • 11-12-12

A swimmingly good story.

Where does Learning to Swim rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is one of the top three books I have listened to.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

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.

What about Suzanne Toren’s performance did you like?

I hope to hear more of her performances, she was excellent.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I had enough free time I would have sat down, next to the fireplace and listened to the very end.

Any additional comments?

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 09-19-12

I liked it -- in spite of itself.

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • FREDERICK, MD, United States
  • 10-13-11

Very Good Book

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Gripping read

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Unlikely but entertaining!

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 12-07-11

Excellent story

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful