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The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming - Audio CD - Unabridged
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Laurel Gray Hawthorne hasn't seen a ghost in the thirteen years she and her husband have lived in their beautiful gated community. Then, in the dog days of a Florida August, she wakes to find Molly, her daughter's best friend, standing by her bed, who then leads her to her own small body floating lifelessly in the Hawthornes' pool. L...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781594839221
ISBN-10: 1594839220
Publication Date: 3/4/2008
Edition: Unabridged
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 38 ratings
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Book Type: Audio CD
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 98 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Meh. The mother finds a friend of her daughter floating in the pool. Whodoneit?

The answer to this question is really a subplot to the book, which is more about family secrets and escaping your past.

Some of the characters in the book annoyed me to no end. The aunt, the mom, the poor family, etc. The ending was ridiculous to a major degree. When someone turns homicidal for a reason that makes little sense, it sucks the fun out of a book, for sure.

Off to read something better!
reviewed The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This was a hard book to put down. Yes, it's a "mystery", but I would call this more of a "literary mystery." It has many elements of literary fiction with a fantastic mystery at its heart. A little bit of mysticism, a love story, a story about how the people we love build us up or let us down. This book just has so many interesting layers without being cofusing or jumbled. I highly recommend this book!
reviewed The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
For me, this book was one of Jackson's better efforts. It started slowly for the first fifty pages, but once the story framework was set up, I could not put it down. This is one of the more fulfilling stories Jackson has told. The characters are full, quirky and she makes us understand where each of them: Laurel, Thalia, David, and Laurel's mother, end up where they do in life and how that effects Laurel. The town of Delop could be one of several in Alabama and it's description is chillingly realistic. For me... I'm going to stick my neck out and see this is her best book yet.
reviewed The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Reading The Girl Who Stopped Swimming was akin to drinking a tall glass of Sweet Ice Tea on the porch of an antebellum mansion. A uniquely Southern experience that is both warm and inviting, but also wholly unfamiliar (at least to this non-Southerner). In the end, however, I wanted to visit a little longer with sisters Laurel and Thalia.

Jackson's prose at times seems like another language. For example, the novel frequently referred to characters entering or exiting the keeping room. While I now know that my house has one too I had never heard this term before reading this novel. Rather than detracting from the novel these unfamiliar terms drew me in deeper in the way that one listens closer to a speaker who whispers rather than shouts.

Jackson's characters were, for the most part, vividly depicted and leaped off the page. This was especially true of the characters Laurel and Thalia whose relationship propels many of the plot points. While Laurel and Thalia love and support each other, they do not understand many of the choices the other as made. As Thalia mutters, "Some days I wonder how you don't drive hard into a wall, just to make it stop."

Another aspect that I enjoyed were the references to the character Cowslip from the novel Watership Down. While I have not read Watership Down, it is now on my reading list thanks to Jackson. If you are in a book group I would recommend reading the two novels together for an interesting discussion.

The only part of the novel that I found less than fulfilling was the ending. I won't give away any spoilers, but I will say that it seemed too tidy of an ending. I would have preferred a more Thalia envisioned ending -- messy, yet, engaging. However, a lot of readers will probably enjoy the ending.

Overall, I highly enjoyed the The Girl Who Stopped Swimming and would recommend it for a thought provoking summer read.
reviewed The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Okay, first let me say that does not have this book yet and it's making me crazy. I even checked and they don't have any of the other authors books on their site anymore. I don't really listen to CDs, so this is driving me nuts! I always listen to her books while I'm walking. *grump*

Okay... I'll stop ranting now...

This is not my favorite book by this author. The story was good, but I felt like it was missing some of the more crazy characters that Jackson is known for. It is definitely worth a read, don't get me wrong - but I just kept waiting for the nutball characters to show up. They were all a little crazy, but there wasn't those one or two that were just completely nuts, ya know?

This definitely was pretty deep and I honestly didn't see the little twist at the end coming. My favorite book by this author was Between, Georgia and my favorite audiobook was Gods In Alabama. This book comes in 3rd. I wouldn't know about the audiobook since audible DOESN'T HAVE IT YET. Not that I'm bitter.

But... read it. It's still good, it was just different from what I was expecting :)
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reviewed The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 44 more book reviews
This book, in addition to being somewhat formulaic (sort of one of the Lifetime Channel formulae), there are a few places in the story where the ethics exhibited by major characters are disturbing because they are let lie as if they are OK. For instance, when the main characters do a home invasion in the home of someone they suspect is a pedophile when the daughter goes missing, they proceed to threaten blackmail (he is found in bed with one of their married neighbors--he isn't a pedophile) if he reports them for what is, in fact, breaking and entering. The implication is that adultery is the worse crime. If that is a spoiler paragraph, so be it--readers are entitled to know when this level of dreck is reached.

In addition to that, there is a "ghost" and "supernatural" thing going on that is very immature and kind of stupid, IMO. and adds nothing to the plot except to make one wonder what the author was thinking to feel that was a good way to go.

The writer has several themes going on--adult survivors of possible sexual abuse, murder of the abuser relative when the main characters (sisters) were youngsters, a mother who is limited because she survived a childhood in a squalid, violent slummy Southern town. The people speak like ignorant cretins from deep in the backwoods, and there aren't any who rise above scum of the Earth--except, of course, the protagonists.

All in all it was a distasteful effort. I haven't read anything else by this author, and now probably won't.
reviewed The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 29 more book reviews
I really liked this audio. I have never read, nor listened to this author before, but I have to say that she did a wonderful job narrating her own book. Her depiction and focus on detail with each character was wonderful. I always get "iffy" about an audio during the very beginning of the first cd, however, I am glad I continued to listen because I could not stop before too long!
reviewed The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on + 12 more book reviews
This book was such a beautiful example of the "McMansion" communities that we see or live in every day and the not-so-perfect group of people that live there. It's a potent reminder that if a person escapes from a difficult background, they have an obligation to give hope and an opportunity to others. It deals with family relationships and the consequences of judging others. Overall a terrific and insightful book!

Book Wiki

Laurel Hawthorne (Primary Character)
Thalia Gray (Primary Character)
David Hawthorne (Major Character)
Shelby Hawthorne (Major Character)
Bet Clemmens (Major Character)
Fictional Places