Monday, March 11, 2013

Swimming At Night by Lucy Clarke

4.5 Star

People go traveling for two reasons: because they are searching for something, or they are running from something.

Katie’s world is shattered by the news that her headstrong and bohemian younger sister, Mia, has been found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Bali. The authorities say that Mia jumped—that her death was a suicide.

Although they’d hardly spoken to each other since Mia suddenly left on an around-the-world trip six months earlier, Katie refuses to accept that her sister would have taken her own life. Distraught that they never made peace, Katie leaves her orderly, sheltered life in London behind and embarks on a journey to find out the truth. With only the entries in Mia’s travel journal as her guide, Katie retraces the last few months of her sister’s life and—page by page, country by country—begins to uncover the mystery surrounding her death.

Lydia - 4.5 Star

I loved this novel. Full of intrigue and mystery, Swimming at Night is really a love story between sisters and contains a deep exploration of the love, jealousy, and sometimes hate that the bond between sisters can have. This one kept me flipping late into the night, right up to the last pages and should not be missed, particularly if you love a suspenseful novel.

As deeply flawed and confused as they all were, I loved all the characters. Both Katie and Mia held my attention in this alternating narrative, the execution of which was flawless. No information was repeated and the story flowed, regardless that one of the storylines was in the past. It really was marvelously done. The hurt, anger, frustration, and love was palpable and flowed from the pages and I loved the ode to sisters portrayed in this novel. I loved how Katie traveled along to Mia's journal entries, following her sister's last steps and trying to understand her death. The premise of this story was unique and I enjoyed every second I spent reading the journey of these two sisters.

There were some gasp out loud moments and tearful ones. I was desperate for Katie to find the answers she sought and Mia, to find peace. I longed for a different outcome, but because we know the ultimate end, it could never be as I wanted it to, but I found myself hoping that at least they would find answers, and peace within the answers. I loved that I couldn't, at any time, predict what would happen, and that all the twists and turns kept me on my toes.

My one concern was that I did find this novel a bit wordy, almost trying too hard where more simple wording or phrases could have been used. The only reason I mention it is that I actually found it distracting at times when the wording seemed forced.

Other than that, I absolutely loved this book and will definitely seek more from Lucy Clarke!

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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