Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons

eBook - 2017
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Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan. Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he's getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn't realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her. Scandalous and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a passionate and troubled marriage.
Publisher: Portland, OR : Tin House Books, 2017
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781941040522
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource


From the critics

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Mar 19, 2018

While this wasn't universally loved amongst our book group, the story created great conversation. First of all, why is this book considered a mystery when the mystery is never solved? In fact, we had more differences of opinion and perspectives than answers. Why is the symbol of the fish so important? Why the title, "Swimming Lessons?" Who is learning to swim?

Oct 20, 2017

An utterly boring book. The plot goes at a snail's pace. Loaded with irrelevant but heavily described details. I painfully carried on till the end just to see what happened with the main character but the end was also disappointing, almost forced.

Jul 11, 2017

Interesting well rounded characters, and a good summer read.

Jul 08, 2017

A missing mother, dying father and two very different daughters fill the pages of this family story. Fuller writes the family’s backstory by letters wife Ingrid has written to her husband Gil and left in books he prodigiously collects. Inventive.

Great summer read that takes place at the family’s beach home off the coast of Hampshire in England. Great cast of quirky characters and a bit of mystery. Loved it.

Jun 09, 2017

Couldn't get into it.

Apr 25, 2017

Beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I enjoyed it very much.

bookishdl Apr 03, 2017

I'm afraid this just didn't work for me. I was interested enough to keep reading but it was so untidy in its delivery, I was all over the place with it.

Mar 27, 2017

A quick and compelling read. Fuller's portrayals of the characters are true to life and very convincing. I loved the ending, but felt it could have done without the epilogue.

Mar 24, 2017

An interesting book that kept me turning the pages, although I did foresee a couple of the 'surprises' before they occurred. Gil is a university professor, and Ingrid his student. Their lives together seem pretty muddled to me, and ultimately they're both to blame to some degree for the mess, however their children are who finally bear the parents' emotional burdens. The author's use of letters from Ingrid hidden in used books was a really interesting and nice touch and gave the book something unique in the plot-line. Ultimately the ending is one of those obscure ones that leave the reader guessing, at least up to a point and it wasn't entirely satisfactory in my opinion, but I'd still look for more from this author.

Mar 11, 2017

This was an interesting read, and well written. However, the ending was weak. It could have ended so many ways, but the way it ended just left me flat.


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Jul 17, 2017

Gil Coleman looked down from the first-floor window of the bookshop and saw his dead wife standing on the pavement below.


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