Friday, May 13, 2011

A review of "Learning To Swim" [31]

Learning to Swim by Sara J.Henry
Crown, ISBN 978-0307718389
February 22, 2011, 304 pages

“If I'd blinked, I would have missed it.”
What a great opening line for a book!
As Troy Chance is taking the ferry across Lake Champlain to meet her boyfriend, she doesn't anticipate ending up in Lake Champlain. But as the ferry going in the opposite direction passes her's, for a split second she thinks she see something, or rather someone, a child, being tossed over the side. Without giving it any thought..because if she thought about it, it was a rather foolhardy thing to do...she dives over the side, into the freezing cold water, finds the boy under the water, is able, somehow, to swim them more than a mile back to shore. She finds that his arms were tied to his side with an adult sweatshirt, so an accident seems out of the question, and while she would love to ask him what happened, the little boy seems to only speak French.

When they land on shore, Troy makes the next fateful decision, when rather than taking him to the police, she takes him home. She tells herself that of course he will be missed and the police and his parents will be searching for him, and for the moment she must just protect him. But the next day there is no search, no pleas for a missing child and Troy has to wonder if little Paul..she at least got his name from him...was meant to disappear and she must find out what is going on before she reveals that he survived.
By occupation Troy is a freelance reporter and she sets out with all her investigative skills to find out who Paul is and why it appears that someone may want him dead. What she finds is a shocking story of kidnapping and murder...and an unexpected world of wealth and privilege. She also finds that little Paul has awoken a maternal instinct she never knew she had and an experience that will leave her life changed forever.

I had read several positive reviews of this book and had my hope up when I started it.
Happily, I was not at all disappointed!
This is Henry's debut novel and a very promising debut it is.
As a suspense story, it is pretty darn good. A bit of mystery, a bit of danger, and a great, surprising ending that I did not see least for a very long time.
At the heart of this story is the character of Troy and a great character she is. Not only is she smart and up to a bit of daring-do, but she is also funny and likable and knows how to fix a bike! What more can you want in your heroine? But maybe most appealing is watching her develop emotionally, become so attached to the boy, something she never considered would be a part of her life. But then Paul is a character that, I dare say, will win over yopur heart too. So while this book might be considered a mystery, I think her emotional development and her relationship with the child takes it into another realm.
I understand that a sequel is in the works, to be published next year, and I am certainly looking forward to it..a lot.


  1. A couple of the members of my book club read this and they have raved about it ever since, so I'm glad to see you liked it.

  2. This sounds great. I can't believe I haven't heard of it before! And I love that cover!

  3. This sounds fantastic. It makes me want to know what happened and why.

  4. This book sounds so good. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. I'm so glad that you like this one. It was a really good read for me and I'm totally looking forward to the next book by Sara Henry. Sequel? That's good!!

  6. Hey, Caite, so glad you liked it. Next one out in 2012 (yes, Troy is back) and more to come.


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