Swim to Me by Betsy Carter

Swim to Me

Swim to Me  

Betsy Carter (Adult Fiction)

Delores Walker can vividly recall the moment her mother dropped her into the shallow end of a lake.  She was just two, but she remembers the water’s temperature, plunging into its depths, and struggling to resurface.  It was heaven.  Twelve years later, she travels to Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida with her mother and father.  It’s 1970 and the mermaids of Weeki Wachee perform a tribute to Apollo 11.  They spin, twirl, dive, and glide, and Delores is fascinated and enthralled by these amazing creatures in the water.  Now at sixteen, she boards a Greyhound bus to Florida with a suitcase, a handful of silver dollars, a letter from Weeki Wachee, and a dream of being a mermaid.

This book is a loving tribute to those wonderfully glorious quirky, kitschy, and sometimes tacky roadside attractions that are a part of our rich and unique history and culture.  I totally immersed myself in this novel and loved reading about these aquatic darlings and their lives both in and out of the tank.  Carter ensures a well-rounded story by giving equal attention to Delores; her struggling and self-absorbed mother, Gail; and her absentee and apathetic father, Roy.  By offering readers a deeper insight into each of these characters separately, we gain a clearer understanding of their own personal thoughts, feelings, and struggles.

More than a loving wink and nod to days gone by, Swim to Me is a book about endings and new beginnings; about not being defined or confined by your present situation; and about taking what’s given to you and making the absolute most of it.

Rating: 4/5

* Book cover image attributed to http://www.goodreads.com

 

 

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go

Clare Mackintosh (Adult Suspense)

Jenna Gray hopes to escape the memories of a tragic hit-and-run accident by moving to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast.  Meanwhile, two detectives are assigned to the case in hopes of finding justice.  The unexpected occurs when both their worlds collide.

This book truly surprised me (in a good way) inasmuch as I had already determined what direction the story was taking and how it was going to end.  The plot took such an unexpected turn, that I was left asking myself, “Wait.  What just happened?”  Very seldom does that happen so when it does, I relish it!  And if that wasn’t enough, Mackintosh throws in a few extra twists at the end…just for good measure.

I rated this book four stars rather than five only because it did languish a bit at the beginning, but the extra care and attention to fully developing the story and characters do pay off in the end.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

We are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg

We are All Welcome Here

Elizabeth Berg (Adult Fiction)

I read Elizabeth Berg’s Open House as it was an “Oprah pick” and was left less than dazzled.  Second time is clearly the charm!  Set in 1964 Tupelo, Mississippi, the story of Diana Dunn and her paralyzed mother Paige is heartfelt and solid, yet at times painful and cruel. But the life they manage to forge together, along with Paige’s black caregiver Peacie, is unforgettable, therapeutic, and inspiring.

Rating: 5/5