Book Review of Learning To Swim (Learning to Swim)

Learning To Swim (Learning to Swim)
reviewed on + 121 more book reviews

Ann Turner's lyrical Learning to Swim will resonate with any adult or teenager who knows the shame and confusion of sexual molestation. Her memories of a family summer vacation keep coming back "like a skunk dog / on the porch / whining to get in." For Turner, telling her story to the world is what sets that skunk dog running. Divided into three sections, "sailing," "sinking," and "swimming," the book chronicles a holiday trip through the eyes of a very young girl--small enough to use a pink swimming ring in Dresser's Pond, play dress-up, and run races. It's Kevin, an older boy from down the street, with the "hands that grab," who takes her upstairs under the pretense of reading to her ("a secret time for us / and never, ever tell"), and she doesn't even know she can say no. In searingly simple language, Turner walks us through the little girl's forever-altered world, past the place where the truth comes out and healing can begin.