Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review: The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw

Title: The Swimming Pool

Author: Holly LeCraw

Rating: 1/2

Who Should Read It? This is a book for people who are willing to take time TRYING to relate to characters, knowing that when they finally do, they will be relating to their misery. If not, it can also be an enjoyable light read for most middle-aged women.

What I Have to Say:
It's really hard for me to know what to say about this book. On the one hand, I quite liked it. The story was fresh and interesting, the writing style was slightly poetic and beautiful, and the characters were complex and, well, not likable, but enjoyable. It was easily read, easily enjoyed, and and the time passed by nicely while I was reading.

Which makes me want to call this a fluff read. While I was reading, I felt like it jumped out at me and screamed "AVERAGE!" On the surface, it seemed as if there was nothing special about this book; just another book for a 20 or 30 (or even 40) something woman to read while taking a leisurely break from life.

It doesn't draw you in, you probably won't be thinking about the characters for a long time after it's over, and in my case, I was actually trying to think of what books I'd read recently that I could review today, and it didn't come to mind until I looked at my shelf (for the record, I finished it three days ago). I mean, there was nothing about it that made it stick out in my thoughts.

And yet, there is SOMETHING about it, though I can't really place my finger on what. The characters are just a little bit more complex than you except them to be, the plot line takes a few more twists and turns than you expect it to, and there are quite a few subtleties and intricacies to the plot that aren't immediately apparent. The characters go through a lot over the course of the book, and thinking back now, I'm feeling like I wasn't being an active enough reader. I passively let the book go by, never feeling a connection with any of the characters, but if I had been more invested in it, I believe that I could have felt the true depth of the characters misery, of what they had suffered.

Of course, the fact that I am only realizing that now, after having finished the book, makes me feel like I must have missed something, and I'm intrigued enough to think about going back and reading it again sometime soon. I think that anyone who chooses to read this book will enjoy it, as I did, but I highly recommend putting forth a little bit of energy into the reading process in order to get all that Holly LeCraw has to offer with the Swimming Pool.

Summary: A heartbreaking affair, an unsolved murder, an explosive romance: welcome to summer on the Cape in this powerful debut.

Seven summers ago, Marcella Atkinson fell in love with Cecil McClatchey, a married father of two. But on the same night their romance abruptly ended, Cecil's wife was found murdered—and their lives changed forever. The case was never solved, and Cecil died soon after, an uncharged suspect.

Now divorced and estranged from her only daughter, Marcella lives alone, mired in grief and guilt. Meanwhile, Cecil's grown son, Jed, returns to the Cape with his sister for the first time in years. One day he finds a woman's bathing suit buried in a closet—a relic, unbeknownst to him, of his father's affair—and, on a hunch, confronts Marcella. When they fall into an affair of their own, their passion temporarily masks the pain of the past, but also leads to crises and revelations they never could have imagined.

In what is sure to be the debut of the season, The Swimming Pool delivers a sensuous narrative of such force and depth that you won't be able to put it down.

Cover Story: It's a lovely cover, and it fits the book to a t.

Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review by the publisher, which in no way affected my review.


Tales of Whimsy said...

What a great review. I'm so curious to what that little something is :)

Alee said...

Sounds very intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

Nina said...

Great review, a book that makes you think about the book afterwards. :) How about that!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Quite a mixed review, I'm still not certain as to if you really enjoyed the book or not.

Esme said...

You wrote the review I need to write-I felt the same way.

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