Book review: Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

3 out of 5 stars A sad, dissatisfied wife and mother writes letters to her husband which are buried between the pages of the books in his library. In her last missive, she asks him to burn the letters (including the books one suspects) so that her two daughters cannot know the truth of their parents’ lives. The book is built on a present and past narrative written at times by the daughter and then her mother who has gone missing, believed dead by all except her daughter. The mother’s inner narrative, as yet possibly unread by her husband, reveals him to be other than a famous writer/auteur and more a philandering dilettante who has stolen his wife’s idea to create a bestseller. While I found the younger daughter Flora exasperatingly unobservant and annoying, the writing is detailed and intricately describes this family in turmoil revealing an unsettling denouement.

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