Swimming Pool Sunday

Swimming Pool Sunday

3.0 1
by Madeleine Wickham
     
 

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When everything changes in an instant. . .

On a shimmeringly hot Sunday in May, the Delaneys opened their pool to the entire village for charity. Louise was there, so were her daughters Amelia and Katie – and so, glaring at her resentfully, was her estranged husband Barnaby. While the children splashed and shrieked in the cool, blue waters, Louise lay

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Overview

When everything changes in an instant. . .

On a shimmeringly hot Sunday in May, the Delaneys opened their pool to the entire village for charity. Louise was there, so were her daughters Amelia and Katie – and so, glaring at her resentfully, was her estranged husband Barnaby. While the children splashed and shrieked in the cool, blue waters, Louise lay blissfully back in the sun and dreamed of Cassian, the charismatic new lawyer in her life. The day seemed perfect.

But suddenly the perfect day was shattered, as tragedy struck and the needs of a child became secondary to the dangerous contest in which the grown-ups were engaged.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A fine chronicler of life's small and large catastrophes, Wickham (A Desirable Residence, 1997, etc.) delivers a workmanlike tale of separated parents who are manipulated by an ambitious young lawyer. When divorce-bound British suburbanites Louise and Barnaby Kember, temporarily reunited at a neighbor's pool party, witness a diving accident that puts their youngest daughter in the hospital, Louise's soign new suitor, the attorney Cassian Brown, persuades them to sue. As it turns out, the politically and socially ambitious Cassian is more interested in winning a case that will bring him a connection to Louise's father, the famous Lord Page, than he is in Louise or her child. A subplot about a brilliant young piano student and a somewhat older man in the Kembers' village brings humor and a melancholy revelation at the end. If the novel drags in the middle, it's only because we can't help but wonder why it takes Louise so long to come to her senses and blast smarmy Cassian out of her life. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Nadelson's successful debut mixes police procedural with political intrigue. When an unknown assailant murders a KGB general-turned-author on a TV talk show, one of the first to investigate is family friend Artie Cohen, a New York cop who grew up in Moscow. Although on leave, Artie competes with federal agents and others as he scours Brighton Beach's Russian migr community for clues. Attacks and warnings serve only to strengthen his resolve, which finally takes him back to Moscow in pursuit of "atomic gangsters." Fast-moving action, a scary scenario, and hidden backgrounds make this a good choice for most collections.
Kirkus Reviews
Once again, Wickham (A Desirable Residence, 1997, etc.) uses a favorite, and sometimes effective, formula: throw a large group of people together and see what mischief comes. In this case, the mischief turns tragic: At the annual charity swim at the Delanys' English manor house, little Katie hits her head on the diving board, putting her in a coma with probable brain damage and putting the villagers at odds with each other when Katie's family decides to sue for negligence. But it's not Louise and Barnaby (Katie's separated parents) who first propose suing their old friends, it's the duplicitous Cassian Brown, a social-climbing lawyer besotted with Louise's political pedigree (daughter of MP Lord Page). Cassian convinces Louise that suing is imperative to Katie's future, and, anyway, the insurance will pay. But when they find that venerable old Hugh and his dotty but well-meaning wife Ursula aren't properly covered, the novel's moral dilemma develops: Is Katie's comfort worth the ruin of Hugh and Ursula, especially since they weren't at fault? The community divides, and the town busybodies fan the fire, but for Louise and Barnaby, all that matters are Katie's slow recoveryþand the court case. Meanwhile, Wickham trots out a series of secondary concerns: a romance between young Daisy, new to the village, and the much older Alexis, counsel for the defense, who recently snubbed Meredith, surrogate daughter to Hugh and Ursula. It's all a bit soapy, but Wickham salvages (just) her weakness for melodrama with page-turning pacing that quickly brings the reader to a satisfying, albeit predictable, end. Just as Katie miraculously recovers, Hugh suffers a heart attack,bringing into question not only the integrity of the court case but the possibility of a reconciliation between Louise and Barnaby. As before, Wickham is adept at creating a random mix of likable people, but the lack of substance and depth here makes it more guilty pleasure than literary treasure.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780552996426
Publisher:
Transworld Publishers Limited
Publication date:
11/03/1997
Pages:
299
Product dimensions:
8.24(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Madeleine Wickham also writes as Sophie Kinsella, the number one bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret? and the hugely popular Shopaholic novels.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, England
Date of Birth:
December 12, 1969
Place of Birth:
London, England
Education:
B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Oxford University, 1990; M.Mus., King's College, London, 1992
Website:
http://www.readsophiekinsella.com

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Swimming Pool Sunday 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Lindsie More than 1 year ago
I love books by Madeleine Wickham (aka Sophie Kinsella). However, this book was only alright for me. It wasn't anything like the other books she has written; Confessions of a Shopaholic, Can You Keep a Secret? etc. It mainly details the trials and tribulations of friends who essentially become enemies when a little girl gets hurt at a swimming pool. All in all though it was okay, and if your a fan of Kinsella/Wickham pick this up.