Thursday, June 25, 2009

94 - Swimming Lessons; Mary Alice Monroe

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Swimming Lessons, by Mary Alice Monroe seemed to be the perfect audio book to ease into summer with. I generally love most books set on the shores of lovely South Carolina, and when I read that this one included a story about the cycle of life of the Loggerhead turtles of the Isle of Palms, it had a special meaning to me.

A few years ago while on vacation in Aruba, we were fortunate enough to be able to see the "leather back sea turtles" prepare to lay their eggs along the shore. It was fascinating even though the area was later roped off as to not frighten the turtles away.

In this story, we meet the Turtle Lady, Toy Spooner. She is a single mother who fled with her young daughter, Lovie, from an abusive relationship. She finds work at an aquarium, and it is here that before long we begin to see sparks between Toy and her boss Ethan.

Some of the sea turtles in this story are sick and some weigh over 200 lbs. Toy is convinced to apply for a grant at the aquarium so that a turtle hospital can be set up to help these sick creatures heal.

But this story has a bit more to it than just Toy, Lovie and sparks flying with Ethan. Lovie’s father comes back into the picture complicating matters, all while several of Toy’s friends are dealing with their own personal issues.

Swimming Lessons is a light sort of read, in the style of Dorthea Benton Frank, or Anne Rivers Siddons. The ending was satisfying in that as the turtles begin to heal and prepare to go back out to sea, Toy, too, a once wounded woman also begins to heal.

I did not realize that this story was in fact a sequel to an earlier book, The Beach House, which I never read. I don’t feel it was necessary to have read that book to appreciate this story. If you are looking for a light summer read to add to your list, give this one a try.

RATING – 4/5 COMPLETED - 6/25/09
Where From - My stacks


  1. This sounds like the perfect summer read for me, so I'll be vacationing on the coast of SC next month.

  2. I am a sucker for books set by the ocean...

  3. Thanks for the does sound like a great summer read.

  4. This sounds just lovely. I have watched a few programmes on these turtles laying there eggs and then seeing the baby turtles hatch and make their way to the sea. It is fascinating.

  5. I loved both of the books, I think The Beach House just a bit better.

  6. Darn! This would have been perfect for my beach vacation, too bad it's already over! Maybe I can grab this one and Beach House as a poolside read for later this month. The subplot about the turtles also sounds interesting.


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