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Learning to Swim

by Sara J. Henry

Series: Troy Chance (1)

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4883636,109 (3.62)39
Witnessing a small boy being thrown into the middle of Lake Champlain, Troy Chance rescues the child only to discover that he had been kidnapped and is at the center of a bizarre and violent plot.



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» See also 39 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
An interesting premise: a woman sees a small child thrown off a ferry and jumps in to save him. An immediate bond is formed and when she learns his story, tracks down his father & reluctantly returns him, she gets drawn into the boy's life more and more. She becomes convinced he's in danger and works to find his kidnappers.

The story progresses smoothly, is well written and has a few unexpected twists and turns to keep you guessing. Not a mystery in the traditional sense of having cops and detectives, just a curious, persistent woman. Recommended for a quick read. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
This is how you do a first novel! Good main plot, a couple of good subplots, and an appealing and thoroughly likable protagonist in Troy. I'll be reading more from Henry, for sure, and hoping that subsequent titles in the series are as solid and enjoyable as this one. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
This book is not a memorable read by any stretch. The action started off with a bang,unfortunately it was downhill from there. The novel turned into a family saga with the protagonist playing nanny, in a wealthy man's mansion, to a child, instead of concentrating on solving the mystery. This scenario lasted for 3/4 of the book. As a mystery/suspense novel, I give this book 1.5 stars, as a family drama/romance 2.5 stars. Extremely unremarkable & forgettable. A shame. ( )
  Icewineanne | Aug 4, 2016 |
On a misty evening Troy Chance is standing on the deck of a ferry crossing Lake Champlain. Watching a second ferry carrying passengers in the opposite direction she sees something fall overboard. At the last moment before it hits the water she is positive she saw frightened eyes in the dark bundle. Without a second thought she dives off the deck of the ferry into the frigid water to try and find what she was almost certain was a child.

This book held my interest from the first paragraph. There was not one page that made me want to stop reading and skip ahead to “get back to the story”. No wasted words. No ongoing pages of floral descriptions. The writing was conversational, easy to read and the story kept moving pleasurably. Learning to Swim is an apt title for this work because the plot certainly had the reader riding a wave that kept building throughout the book. Admittedly, I did suspect the ending before I finished the book, but not until the very last second before, with a whisper, it was revealed. Until that point the tension kept building.

On a more personal note, there were a few touches that made this a really enjoyable book for me. The chapters were a comfortable length, no 30 pages chapters, so if I had to put the book down (for silly things like sleep and work) I could comfortably read to the end of a chapter before stopping. Part of the book took place in Ottawa and Ms. Henry does include some iconic Canadian things like Tim Horton’s, The Great Canadian Bagel, etc. and that made the book fun for me as a reader.

I loved Troy Chance, with all her foibles, flaws, independence, intelligence, determination and compassion she was a wonderful character. This is a fantastic first book from Ms. Henry and I am looking forward to another, hopefully, soon.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
I have no idea why this book has so many good reviews. It thoroughly annoyed me. I will say that I "read" it as an audio book, so maybe part of my annoyance is with the narrator (who sounds way too stuffy and grandmotherly than the character is). But, beyond that, the writing itself was like nails on a chalkboard to me. Just atrocious. There are so many inane digressions. You should play a drinking game of taking a shot every time she detours to describe the food she's eating. Seriously, you will be drunk in 10 minutes. Do I really need to know that the character puts chunky peanut butter in her oatmeal? Do I need to hear about the "drippings" (gag) of her bean burger? JUST GET ON WITH IT. Even if you took out the unnecessary descriptions (seriously, the book would be 25 pages shorter without the food stuff alone), the story drags out SO SLOWLY. Again, maybe the narration was just too slow for me on the audio version, but I don't think that's solely to blame. I was literally rolling my eyes as I listened, thinking, "GET TO THE POINT." It didn't help that I had the "mystery" figured out about halfway through. I found the main character extremely unbelievable. It's all like a Twilight Zone episode. I would have respected this more if it turned out to actually BE a Twilight Zone episode. As it is, it's a dull, terribly unlikely and unexciting plot with some sappy, cliched romance thrown in. The main character says, describing the lame "twist" at the end, "This is like a scene from a bad detective novel." Um, yes, EXACTLY. I couldn't get into this at all. It was truly painful. ( )
  KimHooperWrites | Mar 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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"Swimming is a sport that is not natural to everyone."

--from a Learn to Swim blog
To my dad, who taught me how to read, and made sure I always had plenty of books.
First words
If I'd blinked, I would have missed it.
People don’t understand how completely children rely on the adults around them, how quickly they recognize that their survival depends on the person in control of them. And how vulnerable they are to whatever the kidnapper tells them.
We ate steaming oatmeal and French toast and sipped fresh-ground coffee, which was astoundingly better than the stuff I made with my paper-towel-drip method.
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Witnessing a small boy being thrown into the middle of Lake Champlain, Troy Chance rescues the child only to discover that he had been kidnapped and is at the center of a bizarre and violent plot.

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Average: (3.62)
1 3
1.5 1
2 11
2.5 4
3 39
3.5 22
4 51
4.5 14
5 20


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