Jun 11, 2010

The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw

A heartbreaking affair, an unsolved murder, an explosive romance: welcome to summer on the Cape in this powerful debut.

Seven summers ago, Marcella Atkinson fell in love with Cecil McClatchey, a married father of two. But on the same night their romance abruptly ended, Cecil's wife was found murdered—and their lives changed forever. The case was never solved, and Cecil died soon after, an uncharged suspect.

Now divorced and estranged from her only daughter, Marcella lives alone, mired in grief and guilt. Meanwhile, Cecil's grown son, Jed, returns to the Cape with his sister for the first time in years. One day he finds a woman's bathing suit buried in a closet—a relic, unbeknownst to him, of his father's affair—and, on a hunch, confronts Marcella. When they fall into an affair of their own, their passion temporarily masks the pain of the past, but also leads to crises and revelations they never could have imagined.

In what is sure to be the debut of the season, The Swimming Pool delivers a sensuous narrative of such force and depth that you won't be able to put it down.


Holly LeCraw lives outside of Boston with her husband, who is a journalist, and three kids. Her short fiction and book reviews have appeared in a range of publications, including the Edge City Review and the Boston Book Review. Her short fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Though a newcomer as a novelist, she grew up in the book industry.


Lies, unfaithfulness, an unsolved murder, attempted suicide, dysfunctional families and broken lives ... spanning multiple generations. This story grabbed my attention right from the start, even though it was mostly based on a string of infidelities.

The problems of one generation were so obviously passed onto their children. The lives of two separate families are intertwined in almost disturbing ways, and it was almost too bizarre to fathom. I wanted to shake a few of the characters, and just yell at them to smarten up!

I have mixed feelings about this book. I was drawn into the story and the lives of the characters, yet at times I was a bit disgusted by it all. If you like a book that pulls at your heart strings, and yet makes you angry at the same time, then you will probably enjoy this book.

Thank you to Doubleday for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Swimming Pool: A Novel
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Canada (April 6 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385667914
ISBN-13: 978-0385667913

1 comment:

  1. Ehh, I got this on a while ago. Have not read it yet. Hmm I think I might give it a try soon. Hmm Sounds a little to much for one book