The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

by Joshilyn Jackson

Overview: Lauren Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother keep family skeletons in the closet or sewing her acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister, Thalia, is her opposite, an impoverished actress who prides herself on exposing the lurid truths lurking behind middle class niceties.

While Laurel's life seems neatly on track-- a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, a lovely suburban home-- everything she holds dear is threatened the night she is visited by the ghost of her 13-year-old neighbor Molly. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly, floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is an unseemly mystery that no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Laurel enlists Thalia's help, even though she knows it comes with a high price tag.

Together, they set out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about their family's haunted past, the true state of Laurel's marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.

Rona Simmons (07/07/17): Well written and enjoyable story of Laurel who is visited by ghosts from her family’s past. This time it’s the ghost of a young girl who has just drowned in Laurel’s backyard pool. Laurel calls on her sister Thalia to solve the crime, at times fearing her own daughter is somehow responsible. Thalia is the catalyst in Laurel’s life causing her to examine her dysfunctional relationships with every member of her family, her husband, her mother and father, her sister, and her daughter.

“It was a thick book (Watership Down), intimidating, but Laurel had to know what Thalia meant, and once she’d begun it, she couldn’t put it down. Cowslip turned out to be a fat healthy rabbit in a warren of equally fat and healthy rabbits. Laurel thought the whole bunch of them were smug. They had things the regular rabbits didn’t have: feasts and poetry and art. But she ended up feeling sorry for Cowslip. The feasts, the poems, all turned out to be distractions. A farmer was putting out the food and, every now and again, setting a trap and having rabbit supper. Underneath, Cowslip knew, but he loved his peaceful life. So he willfully stopped knowing, and he made every other rabbit in the warren stop knowing, too. Laurel read that part of the book with a faint shock of recognition.”
Rating: ****

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