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Swimming Lessons Audiobook

Swimming Lessons

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Publisher's Summary

Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides each 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 after her disappearance, 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. Sexy and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious and complicated truths of a passionate and troubled marriage.

©2017 Claire Fuller (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (85 )
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4.0 (81 )
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4.5 (81 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rachel Redford 06/02/2017
    Rachel Redford 06/02/2017 Member Since 2015

    Writer and audiobook reviewer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully beguiling - don't miss it!"


    Claire Fuller's slightly mystical, beautifully written first novel was Our Endless Numbered Days which I highly recommended on my Audible review page on 27/7/2015. Her second novel Swimming Lessons fulfils all the promise of her first - I loved it.

    The structure is carefully contrived but is seamless to read or listen to as we're taken backwards and forwards in time. Ingrid is a university student who falls for her slightly predatory far older tutor Gil Coleman and when she finds she's pregnant, they marry. Ingrid is not allowed to take her Finals and Gil loses his job and becomes a full time writer, although in fact he spends more time philandering and very little writing anything beyond one successful (and ultimately destructive) book. Ingrid struggles with children and miscarriages, the pain of which is exquisitely described. She has always been happiest in the water, and one day she leaves her clothes on the beach and disappears.

    The other layer of the story is Gil as a broken old man, irascible and selfish in his house stacked with thousands of books, with his two very different grown-up daughters Flora and Nan around him. Their memories of their missing mother and their present day lives haunted by her disappearance form a strand of the narrative, but the core is made up of the letters which Ingrid wrote to Gil as her passionate marriage fell apart and which she doesn't give to him, but slips inside random books on his overflowing shelves.

    Like her previous novel, there is a light touch of fairy tale which transports the listener, but at the same time it's firmly rooted in real life and the idiosyncrasies, complexities, pain and pleasures of relationships. The rhythm of the story is like the sea which is so important to the whole story, ebbing, flowing, constantly moving. The themes of betrayal, regret, guilt, loss, absence, isolation are all worked through with a gentle delicacy, the language always imaginative and fresh. There are some mysteries which are never solved, and some solutions are dispersed through the story like beads on a necklace. The narrator Rachel Atkins does a great job and adds another dimension to the novel - the dialogue is particularly skilfully presented.

    Don't miss this one, and look out for Claire Fuller's third one!



    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Whitehead 10/02/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "Swimming Lessons"

    The blurb for this sounded really good and it was a recommended book by you . Have got as far as chapter 5 l just can't bring myself to read any more. Very trivial and silly story

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 11/02/2017
    Sarah 11/02/2017 Member Since 2014
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    "Dreadful."

    Nothing wrong with the narration, however, there was no story at all. It just limped along at a tedious pace. I wanted to throttle youngest daughter who winged her way through the story. Awful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    android1968 Brighton 07/02/2017
    android1968 Brighton 07/02/2017 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great!"

    Lovely concept, well written and brilliantly narrated. Looking forward to reading more Clare Fuller very soon!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dumphimlove 23/03/2017
    dumphimlove 23/03/2017 Member Since 2015

    Retired counsellor - avid reader - new to audio books

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    "Riveting!"

    This is one of those books you either love or hate. I loved it! All the characters are flawed but are more believable for that. I'll be looking for more titles by Claire Fuller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia 09/03/2017
    Julia 09/03/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Beautifully constructed work"

    This book was read brilliantly. The reader captured the characters well.

    The story was good too, though the topic took me a while to get into. The author keeps you hanging right until the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Croft 07/03/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook.

    It kept me guessing all the way through - is she or isn't she...

    I thought the narration was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookworm Rostock, Germany 06/03/2017
    Bookworm Rostock, Germany 06/03/2017 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No thriller but suspense up to the last minute"

    What a book! Couldn't put it down and out of my mind. Loved every minute of it. And beautifully read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jayne cassop, United Kingdom 04/03/2017
    Jayne cassop, United Kingdom 04/03/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Where's the story????"
    What disappointed you about Swimming Lessons?

    There was no plot, no proper ending, a waste of a precious credit, all through the book I was waiting for something to happen but sadly nothing did, save your credit.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Claire Fuller again?

    No


    What does Rachel Atkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The narration was good pity Rachel didn't have anything good to narrate.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebekah Barton 21/02/2017
    Rebekah Barton 21/02/2017 Member Since 2016

    Pt, fitness instructor, pole fitness instructor, book and audiobook addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Family Dysfunctional Story"

    Love the way this was written, following Ingrids letter trail, and Gil's too late realisation

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Lindsay
    27/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I was addicted to listening to this story!!"

    A must listen for every woman!! A tale of "what not to do". Loved the story and the narrator's many voices!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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