Swimming Lessons by Mary Alice Monroe

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Swimming Lessons by Mary Alice Monroe
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Thu, 06-28-2007 - 3:34pm

I just finished this book last night and I highly recommend it. Mary Alice Monroe is a local author here in Charleston and I have read all of her books. This is a sequel to her book The Beach House but you could read it without having read the Beach House first.

http://www.amazon.com/Swimming-Lessons-Mary-Alice-Monroe/dp/0778324621/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-4557351-3727230?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183058822&sr=8-1

From Publishers Weekly
Sick sea turtles and a sharply drawn cast mark Monroe's hardcover debut, an inspirational tale of redemption and, naturally, the power of love. Single mom Toy Sooner has two loves: her daughter, Lovie, and sea turtles, so when sick sea turtles wash up near Charleston, S.C ., one summer and overwhelm the area's resources for turtle aid, Toy is tapped by the president of the aquarium where she works to land a grant for setting up a turtle hospital. This means long nights of work alongside fetching aquarium director Ethan Legare. Their evenings at Toy's home (where Ethan gets on splendidly with Lovie) stir Toy's dormant emotions. Meanwhile, Toy's friends wrestle with their own issues—aging, infertility, money problems, postdivorce blues. After Toy's grant is approved, she is put in charge of the turtle hospital and things are pretty swell—until Lovie's father, Darryl, suddenly reappears, intent on playing a role in Lovie's life. Toy is torn, and trouble is in the offing. A crisis hits very late in the book, giving the narrative a lopsided feel. Though billed as the sequel to Beach House (2002), the novel stands on its own and will likely widen Monroe's readership. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book Description
It's been five years since the original turtle lady, old Miss Lovie Rutledge, passed away, but her legacy lives on with some special women, especially Toy and her daughter, young Little Lovie.

Toy Sooner kept her graveside vow to her beloved mentor. She left behind an abusive, dysfunctional lifestyle to become a strong single mother and aquarist at the South Carolina Aquarium. But success has taken its toll, leaving Toy fearful of change and risks.

Caretta Rutledge, Florence Prescott and Emmaline Baker have all experienced loss. This summer, with each other's friendship and support, they will try to make their dreams a reality.

The turtle season begins the day Toy rescues a sick sea turtle on the beach. When Toy brings the loggerhead to the aquarium, she begins a turtle hospital with the help of her boss, Ethan. As the summer progresses and the sea turtles take their measured steps toward healing and freedom Toy, Cara, Flo and Emmi must find their own strength to face their fears and move courageously toward their futures.

Mary Alice Monroe delivers another deeply satisfying novel written with an eye to nature and keen insights into the connections between women.

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Registered: 06-26-2004
Fri, 06-29-2007 - 12:11am

That sounds really good! Did you read the first book before this one? What is it about, and is it as good? This sounds like an author I would really like.

Emily, in Colorado

Avatar for julie_v
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-29-2007 - 8:09am

I have read all of her books so yes I did read The Beach House before this one. Here is a summary of The Beach House from Amazon:

From Publishers Weekly
After losing her high-powered advertising job in Chicago, Caretta Rutledge grudgingly returns to her low-country roots at her mother's behest. Cara has long resented her mother, who focused her maternal efforts more on looking after the annual loggerhead turtle spawn than on protecting herself and her children from their abusive father. But when Cara learns that her mother is ill, she must lay her bitterness aside and try to make amends. Cara starts by restoring her mother's small beach house and joining the same turtle brigade she resented while growing up. In the process, she reconnects with an old friend and finds love in the arms of a local boat owner and naturalist. This poignant read won't disappoint fans of so-called "Southern Fiction"; the South, which represents both poison and tonic, is eloquently portrayed here, and its healing properties inevitably come to the fore. Just enough information about the loggerhead turtles and their spawning cycle opens each chapter, swiftly engaging the reader from the outset, and all of the integral characters are richly developed. With its evocative, often beautiful prose and keen insights into family relationships, Monroe's latest (following The Four Seasons) is an exceptional and heartwarming work of fiction that is bound to please fans of women's fiction and romances alike.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Registered: 09-03-2005
Fri, 06-29-2007 - 9:22am
Thanks for the review!


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