Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Swimming at Night by Lucy Clarke - An Essential Summer Read

Once in a while a book comes along that captures my heart and really sticks with me.  This hasn't happened in a very long time, until I recently read Swimming at Night.  I was very grateful to receive a copy of Lucy Clarke's debut novel from Simon and Schuster Canada via the Yummy Mummy Book Club and I devoured it.

Swimming at Night tells the story of sisters Katie and Mia and their complicated relationship.  The book opens with Katie being notified that Mia has committed suicide by jumping off a cliff while traveling in Bali.  Katie is unconvinced that her sister killed herself and when she finds Mia's travel journal she decides to retrace her sister's steps to try to understand what really happened.

Swimming at Night takes you on a whirlwind of exotic locations and is cleverly written with the chapters alternating between the perspective of each sister; Katie reads a part of the journal and then Mia lives it out.  It is a very unique style and very well done.

The characters are well-developed and relatable. I felt like I really got to know them and was emotionally invested in their lives.  I was very sad when this book ended and it left me wanting to know more about these sisters.  I do hope Lucy Clarke keeps these characters alive in upcoming books.

Swimming at Night took me on an emotional rollercoaster and it really got to me, but in a good way. I think about this story often and it is one that I will re-read.  I truly admire Clarke's writing style and her story-telling abilities.  If you're looking for a great summer read - or anytime read for that matter - pick this one up.  You won't be disappointed.

Note:  The book is also called Sea Sisters in other parts of the world (I'm in Canada!).

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