Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

Well hello page-turner. I’ve loved spending the last week with you. I’m normally more immune to the charms of your type, but I’m willing to admit you have me hooked.

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller is a brand new, perfectly sized and perfectly paced novel about marriage, love, life and truth.

It is set in the modern day (I can hear a big phew from one Readhead follower who doesn’t share my love of period novels) but with flashbacks (don’t panic-not that far back) that re-visit and explain the history of the marriage of Ingrid and Gil. These flashbacks come in the form of letters that Ingrid wrote to Gil and hid inside his vast collection books.

I’m not completely convinced there is a great theme in this book but it didn’t bother me one bit. It also didn’t bother me that the characters and scenarios were often clichéd or that I couldn’t make any sense of the ending.

The reason none of that mattered was because it was so good on so many other levels. I loved the creative and unconventional setting, the he said/she said rhythm delivered via the flashbacks and the ‘can this get any worse?’ type build up towards the end. The story also triggered a teeny bit of nasty in me, which hasn’t happened for a while.

Swimming Lessons is not a page-turner for the sake of a page-turner and if it was, I wouldn’t be reviewing it let alone recommending it. It’s original, well thought out and a welcome break from all those period novels.

And that’s my 2 cents worth.