Customer Reviews for

Learning to Swim

Average Rating 4
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

An AWESOME read!

I don't know about you, but when I read a book I want to be captivated by the unfolding story, transported to another time/place and so enamored by the characters that closing the book after I read the final word on the final page is a sad moment. Did "Learning To Swim"...
I don't know about you, but when I read a book I want to be captivated by the unfolding story, transported to another time/place and so enamored by the characters that closing the book after I read the final word on the final page is a sad moment. Did "Learning To Swim" deliver? For this reader, the answer is a resounding YES! "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." Who could not be drawn into a story that starts so quickly? And who could not picture themselves in that moment, wondering what decision they would make in that split second - jump in, call for help or forget what was seen? The minute Troy jumps in and swims across cold Lake Champlain, dives deep to retrieve the boy and gets both of them safely to shore, she becomes my hero. When I learn that no one, absolutely no one, is looking for French-speaking Paul, my maternal instincts kick in, and like Troy, I just want to keep him safe. After these first few pages I am so involved in a craftily woven story of kidnapping, murder, wealth, privilege, deception, trust and yes, a touch of romance, that I follow along, rarely questioning how or why anything is happening. That's what made this book such a fun read, because the author, Sara J. Henry, DID question everything, and dropped the questions into the story like bombs, completely catching me off-guard and taking me on a roller-coaster ride that kept my attention. Every time I thought I knew what would happen next, the story took another detour, and when I finally got to those last pages, I was once again surprised. There is quite a cast of characters, but each one is relevant to the story and introduced so naturally that at times, their importance isn't realized until the end. While Sara rounds out the story very with peripheral details and descriptions, they are not so overwhelming that the story is bogged down with information that doesn't matter. Every person, detail and description has a purpose, and it was only when I got to the end that I discovered how the seemingly unimportant were actually very important, and I appreciated the care with which Sara crafted the story. For me, this book was a great read that had me from the first sentence on the first page. I highly recommend it, and if you enjoy it as much as I did, there's great news! A sequel!!! There's also bad news.we have to wait until February 2012 to continue our journey with Troy and Paul.

posted by LeftTurnLady on March 6, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

LEARNING TO SWIM won both the Anthony and Agatha awards for firs

LEARNING TO SWIM won both the Anthony and Agatha awards for first novel, and I can certainly see why after finishing the book myself. It’s a well-written novel, executed flawlessly, and the writing sings louder than Nickelback in the middle of Central Park. But could I ...
LEARNING TO SWIM won both the Anthony and Agatha awards for first novel, and I can certainly see why after finishing the book myself. It’s a well-written novel, executed flawlessly, and the writing sings louder than Nickelback in the middle of Central Park. But could I say I really liked it? If I’m to be perfectly honest with myself, I’d say no. I liked it, sure enough, and I could check that box just as easily as I could fill in Cs all the way down the columns of a multiple choice math test.

I liked the characters, and the characters were filled with flaws and quirks and oddities befitting any well-done novel, but I didn’t love the characters. For me, much of my love of novels comes from voice, unless I’m reading a page-turner from the likes of James Patterson or the late Robert Ludlum, and this novel didn’t have a voice that popped off the page for me. I didn’t have that moment where I wanted to read late into the night, turning the pages until my left hand cramped up, and my vision had blurred because I stayed up much longer than I should have.

So what happened? This book just didn’t connect with me the way I would have liked it to. Not the author’s fault, but it is what is. I’m not a big fan of criminals spouting off near the end of mysteries, telling the hero why a certain crime was committed, even if the criminal is a psychopath. When it comes to criminals and endings, I prefer Goldfinger’s approach.
James Bond: “Do you expect me to talk?”
Auric Goldfinger: “No, Mr. Bond…I expect you to die.”

In the end, though, LEARNING TO SWIM concluded the way it should, with a slight opening that will present more stories to tell for its main character Troy Chance. But I don’t know that I’ll go out of my way to pick up the next book in the series.

Robert Downs
Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

posted by RobertDowns on November 7, 2012

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    Plodding & Unbelievable

    Highly unrealistic, plot holes you could sail a ship through, lackluster characters, sloooowwwww and tedious, dull, dull, dull.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    Pass

    Captivating story but underdeveloped characters and situations that were not believeable. The story reminds me of a made for TV movie. I finished the book quickly but wanted it to end fast so that I could find something more sophisticated and interesting to read. There was no depth to the story. Many parts were annoying because the main character (who acted as the detective) was not a smart character. Pass on this book or take it out of the library. Not worth the money. Too bad- the story could have been better with significant editing, character development, and many re-writes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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