Review: The Girl who Stopped Swimming

The Girl who Stopped Swimming is the third novel written by Joshilyn Jackson and the second novel I have read by this author.

From the authors website: New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson was born in the Deep South and raised by a tribe of wild fundamentalists who taught her to be virtuous and upright. Unfortunately, it didn't take, and Ms. Jackson dropped out of college to pursue a career as an actor. She worked in regional repertoire, wrote plays, and traveled the southern third of the country with a dinner theatre troupe.

Quick Take: This is a lovely novel that combines all of the must haves for readers, great character development, suspense, and a solid storyline. The story is addicting. It's a mystery, but also a study in families and relationships and how the past affects the present.

I found this next comment on BN.COM and thought it was thought provolking... In the reading group guide and notes, the author notes that "at it's heart, this book is about poverty". As well as the literal translation of fiscal poverty, emotional poverty plays a key role.

Type: Fiction, 311 pages, Hardcover

Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty. Coming from a family with a literal skeleton in their closet, she's developed this talent all her life, whether helping her willful mother to smooth over the reality of her family's ugly past, or elevating humble scraps of unwanted fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts.

Her sister Thalia, an impoverished "Actress" with a capital A, is her opposite, and prides herself in exposing the lurid truth lurking behind life's everyday niceties. And while Laurel's life was neatly on track, a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in lovely suburban Victorianna, everything she holds dear is thrown into question the night she is visited by an apparition in her bedroom. The ghost appears to be her 14-year-old neighbor Molly Dufresne, and when Laurel follows this ghost , she finds the real Molly floating lifeless in her swimming pool. While the community writes the tragedy off as a suicide, Laurel can't. Reluctantly enlisting Thalia's aid, Laurel sets out on a life-altering investigation that triggers startling revelations about her own guarded past, the truth about her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.

Richer and more rewarding than any story from Joshilyn Jackson, THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING is destined both to delight Jackson's loyal fans and capture a whole new audience.