Monday, March 28, 2011

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

I have to say it is a real treat to read 2 amazing books in a row. Joshilyn Jackson has a way of weaving a story that really complimented Joe Hill's book - not that they have anything to do with each other except that I read them back to back.
The story follows Laurel Gray Hawthorne as she deals with a family crisis. One night she wakes to find a body floating in her pool. At first she thinks it's her daughter and finds it's her daughter's best friend. Over the next few days, Laurel struggles with the death and the possibility it wasn't an accident. She worries about her daughter's involvement and her daughter's house guest, Bet, who is a 3rd cousin. Bet comes from DeLop which is a very impoverished town that houses a good portion of Laurel's mother's relatives.
It doesn't seem like a lot for a plot but Joshilyn Jackson weaves family drama, past and present, into her mysteries. Her story shows a raw side of Southern families that makes me grateful I live in Washington (not that I don't have family drama).
It's a touching, beautiful story that pulls Laurel out of her shell and makes her realize what she really wants out of life. I love that there is just enough family drama but that Joshilyn doesn't go over the top and make the reader dislike the characters. There's a little bit of each of her characters in everyone - it wasn't hard for me to see them in myself and I think that's what I loved best.

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