Cover image for The girl who stopped swimming
Title:
The girl who stopped swimming
Author:
Jackson, Joshilyn.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Grand Central Pub., 2008.
Physical Description:
311 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
Laurel Gray Hawthorne's life seems neatly on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--until everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 13-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780446579650
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the literal family skeleton stays in the closet or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neatly on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 13-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is inexplicable--an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia's help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family's guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming. Richer and more rewarding than any story Joshilyn Jackson has yet written, yet still packed with Jackson's trademarked outrageous characters, sparkling dialogue, and defiantly twisting plotting, THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING is destined both to delight Jackson's loyal fans and capture a whole new audience.


Author Notes

Joshilyn Jackson graduated with honors from Georgia State with a degree in English literature. After earning her Master's in English at the University of Illinois in Chicago, she taught university-level English.

Jackson's short fiction has been published in many literary magazines and anthologies, and plays that she has written have been produced in Chicago and Atlanta.

Gods in Alabama, Jackson's first book, won SIBA's Novel of the Year award in 2005 and was a #1 BookSense pick. Between, Georgia was also a #1 BookSense pick, which gave Jackson the distinction of being the first author to receive that status in two consecutive years. Jackson also won the Listen Up award from Publisher's Weekly for her audio book reading. Her newest book is entitled, Backseat Saints.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The third novel by the author of Gods in Alabama (2005) explores the complicated relationship between a woman and her family, both blood and chosen. Laurel Hamilton lives with her husband, David, and their 13-year-old daughter, Shelby, in upscale Victorianna, Florida, but her comfortable world is torn apart when Molly, one of her daughter's friends, is found dead in the Hamiltons' pool in the dead of night. Laurel fears the girl's death wasn't accidental, and her daughter's shell-shocked reaction makes Laurel determined to find out what exactly happened to Molly. She butts heads with David when she goes to get her vivacious, unpredictable sister, Thalia, to help her find out if a shifty neighbor may have been involved. But Thalia's arrival dredges up family ghosts, forcing Laurel to confront demons from her past as well as those in her present. A veritable southern gothic, Jackson's fluid, masterful novel builds to an exciting, if somewhat over-the-top finish that at last weaves together Laurel's past and her present.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2007 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Laurel, the center of Jackson's emotionally taut third novel, has a seemingly picture-perfect life, but when her daughter's best friend accidentally drowns in their pool and appears to Laurel in spirit form, things unravel quickly. Jackson's honey-sweet tones heat up into panic and confusion as everything Laurel depends on falls away. While set in the languid deep South, the pace is rapid. Jackson's reading keeps things brisk without going too swiftly. Jackson's excellent reading allows characters' voices to reveal much about their histories and personalities: Laurel's gentle but determined manner, her outrageously funny sister's sarcasm, the thick drawl of an impoverished girl visiting from Alabama. A brief interview with Jackson at the end offers some insight into the book's genesis and development and into her writing habits. Simultaneous release with the Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 29). (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Laurel's picture-perfect life is upended when a ghost taps her on the shoulder, leading her to the lifeless body of a neighborhood child. A Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance favorite; with a 12-city tour and book club phone-ins. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.