Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan.

Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her.

Swimming Lessons is such a beautiful, wonderful, heartbreaking book! I am in love with this beautifully written novel and it’s an incredible, mesmerizing story. I am actually struggling to even write this review because I am astounded by its beauty! Here is a little bit more about this incredible novel.

The story revolves around Ingrid’s account of her marriage to her husband and famous writer, Gil. She writes a series of letters and places them in corresponding books from her husband’s sprawling library which she hopes he will find at some point in the future. However, shortly after she writes her final letter she disappears leaving behind her two daughters and of course, many unanswered questions. The novel then alternates between present day and 1970’s London. At the heart of this story is the mystery of Ingrid’s disappearance. This story is told in dual perspectives and dual timelines. Flora, who is Ingrid’s daughter never believed her mother died, she was only 10 when she disappeared. Soon Flora gets a call from her older sister Nan that their father had an accident but he is saying that he saw Ingrid. Nan just thinks that her father is senile however Flora believes that her father did see their mother and is now on a mission to get to the truth of her mother’s disappearance once and for all.

This is our main and most prominent perspective, however, let me tell you more about our other timeline! Our other timeline and perspective are told in the form of letters written by Ingrid; the letters she has written to her husband Gil. These letters are poetically beautiful but also heartrendingly sad. In these letters, she expresses her deepest darkest thoughts about her unhappy marriage, about the mishaps, their decline, her husband’s selfishness.. his lack of responsibility as a father and a husband and lastly his infidelity. Now let me tell you what I thought about this wonderful book!

Swimming Lessons is a beautiful, quiet and poetic novel, but also an eerie, compelling one. It is unlike anything I have read before and simply beautifully beautiful. Fuller’s writing and prose capture your heart from the very first page and compels you to read until there is nothing more to read. Her writing is dense and multi-layered and made me fall completely in love with this unconventional family. Her writing was so personal that through their internal struggles and pain I felt as if I was right beside them and feeling all of her feelings. To say her writing is emotive is an understatement and I am just in awe of this woman’s wonderful writing.

My two favorite aspects of this novel besides the beautiful writing were the characters and Ingrid’s letters. Growing up I have always adored letters and the lost art of letter writing. So much so that at the beginning of my relationship with my husband I made us write each other letters as he was in America and I was in Britain! My point is that I adore it so the fact that 50% of this novel is full of beautifully written letters made me a happy woman. This now brings me to the characters. Our main character Ingrid is perfect in my opinion; to read her letters and to know those deepest darkest thoughts of hers was simply incredible…how her letters unraveled a mystery and told the story of her life was magical to read and I can honestly say that I felt all of her feelings as she wrote those letters, they were just so stunningly beautiful. The rest of the family are also wonderful, I loved learning about them and their life’s and their thoughts too. This novel focuses on a family which could be any family we see today. It also focuses on some important themes such as these mysteries of people disappearing and how it affects your family so this is all really wonderful and very important. I just love this novel so much and hope all of you lovely readers get a chance to read it!

To summarise I would implore all of you lovely readers to read Swimming Lessons. It is a beautiful novel that demands to be read and demands to be felt. No amount of words I write here can do it justice so please, pick it up for yourself and fall in love! Swimming Lessons, of course, gets Five Stars from me!

As always thank you so much for reading! Please do comment below what you think of this novel or whether you have already read it; I would love to know all of your thoughts! Let me know also whether you have read much literary fiction and mysteries. Thank you so much again for reading!

Goodbye for now book lovers,

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is click the Buy on Amazon button and it will take you straight to the book on Amazon USA! If you are in the U.K. then below I have attached a link to the book for the Amazon U.K. website. I have also attached some links about the author and this wonderful book! Thank you so much again for reading book lovers, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book!   

Amazon U.K. / Goodreads / Book Depository / Publisher; Penguin – Fig Tree

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242 comments

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Really insightful review – I do love a good mystery. 🙂

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Thank you so much for commenting! I appreciate it so much (:

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If you love mysteries then you will adore this novel! The whole way through I couldn’t stop reading it because I really wanted to find out what happened!

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Do you read a lot of mysteries then? (:

Yes – usually audiobooks while I work.

See I have never listed to an audiobook, are they good? (:

Absolutely! I’m a bit snobby about them and they have to be read by a professional or an actor for me to listen! If the narrate is no good then it’s too annoying.

Yeah I think that is why I haven’t listened to many just because I am worried that it will be an annoying narrator! Lol.

I will definitely look for a good one though, thanks!

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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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Thank you so much for commenting Carrie I appreciate it so much!

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What a lovely review! I loved this book too, I keep thinking about it even though I finished reading it weeks ago now.

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Thank you so much for commenting Hayley! I appreciate it so much (:

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I am so happy that you loved this book too! It is so wonderful isnt it?! I too cant stop thinking about it it was just so wonderful (:

New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

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Have you read her first novel Our Endless Numbered Days? I havent had a chance to yet but it has been on my TBR list for ages!

No I haven’t read Our Endless Numbered Days yet but it is on my TBR so I hope to read it soon. I’ve heard so many good things about it.

So have I! It’s supposed to be amazing.

I guess I should have read her first book before reading her second novel but oh well! I am sure I will still love the first one (:

What are you reading right now? (:

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Thank you for your kind words also (:

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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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Wow, I love that premise! This is going on the TBR list. Great review!!

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Hi Bentley! Thank you so much for commenting (:

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The premise of this book is amazing and I think you would really love this book! It is a little sad but I wouldnt describe it as a tear jerker.

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It is so great though! So what are you reading right now? (:

New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

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And thank you so much for your kind words!

I’m reading lots of stuff right now, but my two main ones are an ARC of “Knights of the Borrowed Dark” and I’m reading an adult fantasy by John Gwynne called “Malice”

I adore fantasy so I will have to have a look at these books on good reads!

Cliche question but do you have a favourite book? (:

I have LOADS of favorites, but my “underrated favorite” I always recommend is “The Child Thief” by Brom. It’s a dark fantasy retelling of Peter Pan.

How have I not heard of this book?! I adore the story of Peter Pan and a dark re telling sounds incredible!

Thank you so much for the recommendation! I will have to go check this out now (:

It’s pretty cool! Plus, Brom (the author) is also an artist and the book includes his sketches and paintings of certain characters. I just love it.

That is so amazing! I love books like that.

That reminds me of a book I read recently called Bats of the Republic. Have you heard of it? It is a really fascinating story and has drawings by the author too and pull outs. I would definitely check it out (:

I have not! But I’ll keep my eye out for it now! Thanks 🙂

You’re so welcome (:

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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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Such a lovely review x

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Aww thank you so much Lisa and thank you for commenting! I appreciate it so much.

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Do you think you could see yourself reading this book anytime soon? (:

I quite possibly would, yes!

Aww great! If ever you do please come back and let me know how you found it (:

What are you reading right now? (:

I’m reading Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski and also Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

I have not heard about Six Stories, what is it about? (:

And I just finished reading Before the Fall! I actually just reviewed it on my blog too. It is such an amazing novel and I really hope you love it!

Did you know it was being made into a movie too? (:

New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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Alright, sorry I cut myself off lol

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Haha I do that too but I understood you anyway! Do you read many novels like this one? (:

Not too often but every now and then I enjoy one.

This is the same with me too, these kind of books in my opinion are not to be read all time time. Just because these books pack a punch and can really affect you! (:

What are you reading right now? (:

A zombie book that stars a 90 yr old man! It’s pretty funny so far.

Oh my god that sounds amazing haha! What is it called? I will have to check it out !

It’s a novella called Old Man at the End of the World: Bite 1. It’s British and pretty funny. I received as a submission and will be reviewing it officially next week.

Aww how amazing! I will have to go have a look about it and make sure I read your review! I am British myself (but live in America) so I love reading about my home country!

It’s a fun and quick read! Look for it tomorrow 🙂

I will do! Thank you for the recommendation by the way (: can I quickly ask what your name is? (:

It’s Shannon but I go by Shanannigans online

Aww great! Nice to meet you, I’m Aimee (:

Nice to meet you too Aimee ☺

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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

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This sounds like a heartbreaker al

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Thank you so much for commenting I appreciate it so much!

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Oh gosh it definitely is a heart breaker but it is so beautiful and lovely at the same time. It is very emotional but so perfect (:

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Do you see yourself reading this at all? (:

It’s been a while since I’ve read a good tear jerker. Last one was Me Before You. Maybe lol

Oh my gosh that book broke my heart! It is such a beautiful novel but gosh I cried for days.

Although this book is sad I wouldnt describe it as a tear jerker but more of an emotional mystery, it is so good!

Have you seen the Me Before You movie? I am not sure whether I should watch it because I love the book so much!

Yeah the movie was ok but the book is so much better

Oh is it? Would you recommend that I watch the movie? (:

I think you may be disappointed but it’s not bad just really contrived. Doesn’t have the same feeling.

Aww ok, I may watch it one day then but I am in no rush!

Have you read the sequel? (:

Yes. It was nice to read what happened to her after the fact. Not as good as the first in my opinion but I liked it.

Aww ok. I haven’t picked it up yet but I think I will now! (:

New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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Beautifully written fiction and mystery – my favourite! I have been eyeing this one up 😊

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Thank you so much for commenting Book Whisperer! (I love your blog name by the way).

Ahh thank you so much 😊

You’re welcome! I love it (:

New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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Just like you said if you love beautifully written fiction full of mystery then you will adore this book!

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Everything about it is so beautiful and you will just fall madly in love with it. Do you read many books like this? (:

I’m dying to read it now. I’m not sure there are so many literary mystery type books about which is why I love them. Clever but beautifully written too 💕 I can think of Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris (brilliant!) and Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller. Need to have a think about this a bit more… do you have any more recommendations?

Aww I am so glad that I have made you excited to read it! It is so great and is definitely worth buying, I raced through it and could not put it down! (:

I have not heard of gentleman and players so I will have to check this out and gosh Notes on a Scandal has been on my TBR for ages!

Yay! Both fantastic!

Aww great! I will definitely have a look at these soon. Thank you!!

I will have to get back to you with some recommendations soon!

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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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That cover is outstanding! Will have to buy this I think 🙂

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Thank you so much for commenting! By the way I was just about to email you back (:

Thank you for the email back, much appreciated. I love cover art, I am contemplating doing a series of posts about some brilliant cover artists 😀

No problem at all! Happy to help (:

New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

That would be amazing! I really think you should do that, I would love to read it (:

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Oh my god and I know right! This cover and the hardback book is so stunning and I love it. It just always feels nicer doesnt it when reading a book which is so beautiful no?! lol.

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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

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Sold!

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Hi Heidi! Thank you so much for commenting I appreciate it so much (:

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I am so glad that I could convince you to read this book! I NEVER give 5 stars so the fact that I did means that I truly think it is amazing.

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Have you read books which sound similar to this? (:

New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment so thanks again!

What is your name and where are you from in the world I am curious!

I look forward to your reply, thanks again!

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