Rummanah Aasi
  Swimming at Night is a promising debut novel by Lucy Clarke that is perfect for a summer or traveling book. With its wonderful traveling descriptions and an intriguing story, it is sure to sweep you away.

Description: Katie’s world is shattered by the news that her headstrong and bohemian younger sister, Mia, has been found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Bali. The authorities say that Mia jumped—that her death was a suicide. 
   Although they’d hardly spoken to each other since Mia suddenly left on an around-the-world trip six months earlier, Katie refuses to accept that her sister would have taken her own life. Distraught that they never made peace, Katie leaves her orderly, sheltered life in London behind and embarks on a journey to find out the truth. With only the entries in Mia’s travel journal as her guide, Katie retraces the last few months of her sister’s life and—page by page, country by country—begins to uncover the mystery surrounding her death. 

Review: I wouldn't necessarily categorize Swimming at Night a thriller as it didn't really raise my pulse and I wasn't turning pages quickly enough like it indicates in its description, but rather an absorbing portrait of two sisters with a mystery thrown in for good measure. Reading the book I felt as if I was back packing along with Katie as she follows her younger sister Mia's diary entries to recapture her thoughts and feelings in the aftermath of her so-called suicide. Katie doesn't believe that Mia took her own life, but has reason to believe it was foul play. The only way she can prove her suspicious is to follow Mia's tracks, but the ordinary set up for a common mystery trope proves to be much more complicated as Clarke creates characters who are three dimensional, likable, and we in some ways empathize with their pains. 
  Katie and Mia are complete opposites. Katie is the older sister, the one who is always responsible, follows the rules, the hard worker. Mia is the beautiful artist, the dreamer, the drifter, the free spirit. Even with all their differences, the sisters were always close, always loving, tolerate of their short comings until the death of their beloved mother and the unforgivable dalliances of a drunken night cause a seemingly unfixable rift between the siblings. 
  Mia discovers a startling secret throwing her future in disarray, which ignites a sudden trip to find herself by purchasing an open-ended ticket to explore the world. Mia makes some reckless and stupid choices, but you can understand her impulsive behavior when the secret is revealed. I felt sorry for her and I found her journal entries interesting. I was anxious to find out what really happened on Mia's journey and engaged in the story. I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy a mystery without the gory or strong violence that like contemporary fiction.  

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language and sexual situations. Recommended for older teens and adults only.

If you like this book try: Sister by Rosamund Lupton, The Beach by Alex Garland
5 Responses
  1. You've reviewed a few really interesting books this week, including this one. Thanks for adding to my list! Great reviews.

  2. Jenny Says:

    Ooooo now I really want to know what this secret is Rummanah! Too bad Mia makes some poor choices, but at least their understandable give what was revealed. That would make her actions a bit less frustrating:)

  3. WHile this wasn't the thriller you expected, I'm glad it kept you engaged with the slow revelations. I always enjoy reading about relationships between sisters, so this may very well be something I'd enjoy.
    Great review.

  4. Candace Says:

    Oh this really sounds like something I would enjoy! I love to travel via books and I tend to hesitate with thrillers as they sometimes are just too much for me and this sounds like it's not like that. I hadn't heard of it before so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  5. I enjoy reading novels that explore family dynamics so I'll be adding this one to my wishlist. You've made me curious about the secret that Mia discovers, Rummanah, and I like that you get an idea of both sisters' personalities. It sounds like the journal entries are well written rather than boring.

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