The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

by Joshilyn Jackson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446697828
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 05/26/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 554,902
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Joshilyn Jackson, a native of the Deep South, has worked as an actor and an award-winning teacher, and is now a writer and a mother of two. Jackson lives with her husband and children outside of Atlanta.


Powder Springs, Georgia

Place of Birth:

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

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Girl Who Stopped Swimming 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
donnareads911 More than 1 year ago
This story was not what I was expecting. Looking at the cover, it looked like a "pool" book, a little light summer read, but it turned out to be a great little mystery, not too heavy, not too light, just right for a summery read. I enjoyed the quirky characters and the jiggidy-jogs in the story. Keep em' coming, Joshilyn!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because of the interesting title and cover - once I read the first chapter I had a hard time putting the book down. This is a wonderful book! The characters were amazing and well rounded. Once I finished the book I immediately returned to B&N and found Joshilyn Jackson's other works (Gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia). You will not be disappointed with this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not one of my better book purchases. characters kind of boring or unrealistic, story line kind of boring - dragged on a bit in places - would not recommend or pass along this book -
LiveforReading More than 1 year ago
I took this to the beach on vacation could not put it down, went right out after finishing and bought one of her other books read that and went for another. Not on vacation now so reading has slowed d/t required work reading! But I am sure the 3rd is just as fun as the 1st and second.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It surprised me but overall I thought this was a good book. I was expecting more supernatural but ultimately it's a very small part of the book, mostly it's about relationships and the lengths we'll go to to protect the ones we love. It took me about 100 pages to get into it, but halfway through I couldn't put it down! The characters were well written and the writing was superb. I was worried that the ending would be drab, but it did surprise me! A great mix of relationships, mystery, and a hint of paranormal.
JoniF More than 1 year ago
This is a story of family dynamics and sisters' secrets, and I found it fascinating. The author weaves an intriguing story by giving the reader bits of information along the way that keep you guessing. I will be looking for more books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Joshilyn Jackson did a magnificent job taking real life problems and blending them together with the unthinkable. This book kept me in suspense until the very end. The characters had so much personality and life to them (especially Thalia) that sometimes I would forget that they weren't real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book started out great, then had some slow parts here and there, but ended well. I guess I was hoping for something more.
Twink More than 1 year ago
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming is Joshilyn Jackson's third novel. After finishing this one at breakneck speed, I'll be hunting down the first two. Laurel has escaped her childhood and the family history in poverty stricken DeLop, Alabama. She's married to David, has a daughter Shelby and lives a comfortable life in a gated community. The ghosts have stopped following her. Until one night, when she sees the ghost of a young girl beckoning to her. She looks out the window and there is the dead girl - in her pool. Although they disagree strongly on many, many things, she calls on her actress sister Thalia to come and help her deal with this. As the sisters 'investigate', the past comes charging up behind them. Secrets long buried won't be kept quiet any longer. This is an absolute gem of a novel. Jackson's prose are captivating and unsettling at the same time. "But her house did not feel normal. It was silent and too large around her, as if it had been hollowed out. The wrongness in her yard had it's nose pressed against her glass doors, and she felt something small and feral scrabbling in her belly. Every time she thought she'd lose herself in her work, the something would run one spiky tooth along her stomach lining." The story is addicting. Can she really see ghosts? Hints of the past are eked out and I was reading as quickly as I could to piece it altogether. It's a mystery, but also a study in families and relationships and how the past affects the present. In the reading group guide and notes, the author notes that "at it's heart, this book is about poverty". I found this quite interesting. As well as the literal translation of fiscal poverty, emotional poverty plays a key role. This was a fantastic read for me.
Slessman More than 1 year ago
THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING Joshilyn Jackson Grand Central Publishing Trade Paperback $13.99 319 pages ISBN: 0-446-69782-6 Reviewer: Annie Slessman Having grown up in the South I recognized instantly the words of Bet Clemmens. Unlike Laurel Hawthorne, main character of Joshilyn Jackson's new book, THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING, I didn't have to give a minutes thought to Bet's remarks. How many times did my mother say, "will you slow down, you talk so fast the words seem to melt into one another?" Laurel's mother had been raised in the Southern town of DeLop. A town where meth, drugs of all types and poverty seems to steal the lives of its residents. Laurel's mother is one of the few who has escaped the boundaries of DeLop. To pay for her freedom, Laurel, her sister, Thalia and their mother return each Christmas to DeLop with gifts to better the lives of those who still remain captive to this community. Carrying forth the tradition of her mother, Laurel takes in, for the summer, one of DeLop's young residents named Bet Clemmens. Bet is about the same age as Laurel's daughter, Shelby. The girls get along wonderfully and Bet finds herself not wanting to leave such a comfortable existence. Lauren sees ghosts. For instance, her Uncle Marty frequently visits her beside. Marty had been killed during what was deemed a hunting accident when Lauren was a small child. One night as Lauren is awaken from her sleep, she sees, not Marty but one of Shelby's friends, Molly, standing at her beside. Following Molly to the window she sees Molly lying face down in their swimming pool. When she realizes she is not dreaming, Lauren and her husband race downstairs to try to rescue Molly from the water. They are not successful and it is then that the story takes a swerve. Unable to handle things emotionally, Lauren beckons her sister, Thalia, to her home to help her deal with the loss of Molly and the mystery surrounding her death. This story takes us on a journey that tops many hilltops, takes ever curve and eventually leads the reader into the bowels of hell. Its surprise ending will have you gasping and afraid to turn the page. This is my first Joshilyn Jackson read. However, I have already placed an order for her two previous works, gods in Alabama and Between,Georgia. I will warn you before you buy this book, you will not be satisfied with just one Joshilyn Jackson read. You too, will be putting in orders for more of her work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good for the most part. The characters were well written, but at times the book dragged on and on and a little more than halfway through the book it became more captivating and started making more sense. I almost didn't finish it and now am glad I did.
Poppy_Honcho More than 1 year ago
It sounds better than it really is!! I don't know if I expected too much, but this book fell flat. There seemed to be too much detail and backstory about the main character Laurel and her geeky computer hubby David. Their relationship was as terrible and unexciting as Thalia (her sister) described it. The author tried too hard in making it some whirlwind romance that could withstand the test of time. The real drama would have been the stories and turmoil between Laurel and Thalia...or Delop even!The book was very obvious. I could tell what was going on with Uncle Marty from the first page. The only surprises to me was why Thalia did what she did on the hunting trip with her daddy, and who was behind the murder. It was mediocre at best and not thrilling. There was not enough description in the book as a whole and could have been better. I think it was lacking in all departments. I felt like I kept waiting for it to "get better". I felt there was reference to things that never went all the mermaid crap. I also didn't see the point in even mentioning Laurels quilt making...sigh...really? Not every book is going to be a winner, I suppose! Boo.
charlotte1918 on LibraryThing 16 hours ago
Author repeated alot. Had good description writing.
Storeetllr on LibraryThing 16 hours ago
This was my first Joshilyn Jackson, so I have nothing to compare it to. I enjoyed it, but there was definitely something just a tad off about it. Perhaps it was, as some reviewers have pointed out, that it was too scattered. Perhaps the characters weren't as well-developed as they could have been. One thing, the first half dragged for me. Not sure anymore when it changed, but about halfway through I started to get into it more. The ending worked just fine for me within the context of the story, although I wasn't completely happy with it. I mean, I didn't want it to end that way, and, now that I think of it, it was a little to "pat" an ending. I think in "real life" it would have been a lot messier at the end. Anyway, I gave it a 3-1/2 star rating because it was good but not great.
BillPilgrim on LibraryThing 16 hours ago
Laurel is occasionally visited by ghosts. The ghost of one of her 11 year old daughter's friends visits her at the beginning of her novel and leads her to her dead body floating in Laurel's swimming pool. The police investigation finds the death to be an accident but Laurel is not so sure. She suspects a man in the neighborhood, who may be a pedophile. She is also afraid that her daughter Shelby knows something about it, but is too frightened to say it. She goes to her older sister Thalia for help, and together they start investigating. I mostly enjoyed the book, except for the major plot development in the middle that seem greatly overdone. In it, Thalia acts so horribly and Laurel reacts so extremely, that it did not feel real. Laurel seemed out of character and Thalia should have been immediately disowned by her sister. But, the book progressed nicely past that point and had a reasonable ending.The book focuses on family relationships, Laurel's mother and husband also figure prominently, and how we cannot escape our pasts.
LCBrooks on LibraryThing 16 hours ago
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming gripped me in a way I can't explain. I didn't love the book; but, I couldn't put it down. Joshilyn Jackson's writing draws the reader in like the lights in the bottom of an empty pool in the darkness of a hot, summer night. While I had hoped for, and almost expected, some of the laugh-out-loud moments Jackson used in Gods in Alabama, I was not disappointed by the darkness of the novel. Jackson presents each character in a way that gives the reader insight into the soul of even the shallowest of characters. The cast of this novel is composed of those people around us that we prefer to know of than to know and from whom we turn away we see reflections of our own weaknesses.
SugarCreekRanch on LibraryThing 16 hours ago
I loved this book! It is a mystery, but has the relatable characters and situations of the "women's literature" genre, some humorous characters to lighten the mood, some social commentary to add depth, and just a touch of the supernatural for extra interest. Laurel is a Southern suburbanite who is awakened one night to discover her teen daughter's friend drowned in the backyard pool. Laurel and her sister Thalia set out to find out how this happened, but Laurel also makes some discoveries about herself along the way. The plot twists kept me reading late into the night.
CelticWolf43 on LibraryThing 16 hours ago
This is the third book I've read by Jackson. Loved Gods in Alabama, and Between, Georgia. Couldn't get through this one for some reason.
momgee on LibraryThing 16 hours ago
Compelling, mysterious with incredibly fleshed out and deep characters. What a twist at the end . I did not see that coming at all. At the end of the book, I could not turn the pages fast enough.
Jenners26 on LibraryThing 16 hours ago
Story OverviewLaurel Hawthorne is haunted by ghosts. During her childhood, she is haunted by her Uncle Marty. But Marty disappeared when Laurel and her husband David moved into the gated community of Victorianna. But one night, Laurel -- a lifelong sleepwalker -- is awakened by another ghost. This time the ghost is Molly -- a neighborhood girl and a friend of her daughter Shelby. Molly's ghost is brand-new -- in fact, her body is floating in Laurel's swimming pool.Although Molly's death is ruled an accident, Laurel cannot help but think that Molly's ghost wants her to uncover what happened to her. Worse, her daughter Shelby is acting like she might know more than she lets on. And Bet Clemmens -- a relation of Laurel's who has come to visit with Shelby for the summer (a way for Laurel to make peace with her poverty-stricken roots of DeLop) -- seems to be helping Shelby cover something up.Laurel's computer geek husband David is no help in a crisis like this. So Laurel turns to the only person she knows can help -- her estranged sister Thalia. Thalia is a larger-than-life, straight-talking actress (she has her own rundown theater) who views Laurel's marriage as a jail, and her home in the gated community as the prison cell. Against David's wishes, Laurel brings Thalia home with her to help find out what happened to Molly. In the course of their investigation, the skeletons in their family closet begin to rattle their bones, Laurel's marriage is shaken to its core, and the sister's relationship is redefined and pushed to its limits.My ThoughtsI loved this book! The story flies along with numerous twists and turns, and the characters -- especially Thalia -- are wonderfully written and memorable. The supernatural aspects of the story are well-handled. Much like Alice Hoffman (who brings a kind of magic realism to so many of her books), Jackson is able to work in the ghosts in a believable and plausible way. You believe in what Laurel sees, but you also find yourself nodding your head when Thalia debunks Laurel's ghost stories.Although the primary story is finding out what happened to Molly, much of the book is really about Laurel and Thalia coming to terms with their childhood, their mother, what happened to Uncle Marty, and their mother's hometown of DeLop. DeLop -- a fictional town -- is almost like a character in the book. The poverty and neglect that the town spawns affects everyone who comes in contact with it -- whether they admit it or not. Laurel -- who has tried to hide the reality of DeLop from David and Shelby -- must finally come clean with herself about what is going on there.Another rich subplot is David and Laurel's marriage. Thalia has always made it her mission to end the marriage -- which she believes is holding Laurel back from being her "true" self. When Laurel begins to doubt the strength of her marriage, the author does a wonderful and believable job of showing why a marriage that looks "all wrong" on the outside might actually work at its core.I could go on and on about all the rich details in this book -- Laurel's quilts, the social niceties of a gated community, the use of the book Watership Down (which this book totally made me want to read!). I think Joshilyn Jackson did an amazing job with all aspects of this book. Bravo!My Final RecommendationThis is a satisfying, fun and rich read. Once you start, you'll get pulled into the story -- so be prepared to dedicate some time to finish it up as you'll want to know what happens sooner rather than later! I just adored Thalia, who I think added some needed humor to what is really a fairly grim and depressing story. This was a great read, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
jedimarri on LibraryThing 16 hours ago
I was lucky enough to win a copy of "The Girl Who Stopped Swimming" from a fellow blogger. It's not what I typically read, it's not my typical fantasy or sci-fi. Nope, it's a ghost story with quite a bit of relational and psychological drama thrown in! I happen to eat up drama, so I loved this book!Laurel Gray Hawthorne has built for herself a wonderful life. She has a husband, a beautiful daughter, and they live in a quite suburban neighborhood where no one really rocks the boat. But Laurel has a secret that even her husband doesn't know. She has what's commonly called "the sight" and grew up seeing ghosts. Laurel hasn't seen a ghost in a long time though. The neighborhood is too new, and she's firmly locked away that part of her past into a dark part of her memory. That is, until the ghost of her daughters best friend appears in her bedroom, beckons her to the window, and points out the girls own freshly dead body in Laurel's pool.The drama unfolds quickly from there as things Laurel had neatly packed away in her memory come rushing back into her life. One thing that was fascinating about this book is that there are several threads that weave in and out through the book. The unfold slowly and there were a lot of things that managed to catch me by surprise! The ghosts do play a big role, as does Laurel's dysfunctional family, neighborhood secrets, and finally, what lead to the dead body in the pool.
amf0001 on LibraryThing 18 hours ago
Lovely book. I'm 3 for 3 this week, a rarity!So Laurel has this perfect life, sortof, with a husband who works computer code in the basement and a daughter she loves too much turning 12. And then her daughter's best friend Molly drowns one night in her pool and Molly's ghost comes to wake up Laurel and nothing is the same.I liked the relationship between the sisters - Thalia and Laurel. I liked Laurel and the life she was trying to build for herself. I liked David (sometimes known as Dave) and the marriage they had. I liked the ending, it felt believable. (within the realms of the story) I liked it all. I'd rate it an A, and a keeper.
busyreadin on LibraryThing 18 hours ago
A ghost, a drowning, family secrets. Will the family survive intact? I found this one easy to put down; took me a while to finish it.
skrishna on LibraryThing 18 hours ago
I think I expected too much out of this book. It was interesting and good, but I've heard so many raving reviews of Joshilyn Jackson that I think I expected it to be mindblowing or something. At any rate, it's a good book.
Cherylk on LibraryThing 18 hours ago
It seems like Laurel Gray Hawthorne has the perfect live. A great husband, David and their daughter, Shelby. Laurel lives in Florida in a gated community called Victorianna. It has been thirteen years ago since Laurel last saw a ghost. So when late one night, Laurel wakes up to see one of Shelby¿s friends, Molly standing by her bedside, Laurel is stunned. Molly wants Laurel to find out the truth about her death. Laurel¿s life will change after tonight, especially when Molly is found floating in Laurel¿s backyard pool. Laurel and her sister, Thalia used to be close but now a days they are barely speaking to one another. Laurel now needs Thalia¿s help once again. Thalia agrees to lend a hand to Laurel. Will solving the death of Molly make Laurel and Thalia grow closer again. Also, what is up with Stan Webelow and what secrets are Laurel trying to keep hidden from her family? I thought that The Girl Who Stopped Swimming was a well-written and fantastic novel. The characters had wonderful depth about them. They were relatable in some way or another. It helps when you can relate to the characters in a story as it makes you feel more for them and it draws the story closer to you. This book flowed so effortlessly that I finished it in one sitting. The only thing is that I found myself saying at the end "Is that it?". The Girl Who Stopped Swimming is my first book by Ms. Jackson but I can tell you now that I will be checking out her other novel Gods in Alabama.