Publisher's Note:  

"If I'd blinked, I would have missed it. But I didn't, and I saw something fall from the rear deck of the opposite ferry: a small, wide-eyed human face, in one tiny frozen moment, as it plummeted toward the water."

When she witnesses a small child tumbling from a ferry into Lake Champlain, Troy Chance dives in without thinking. Harrowing moments later, she bobs to the surface, pulling a terrified little boy with her. As the ferry disappears into the distance, she begins a bone-chilling swim nearly a mile to shore towing a tiny passenger.
     Surprisingly, he speaks only French. He'll acknowledge that his name is Paul; otherwise, he's resolutely mute.
     Troy assumes that Paul's frantic parents will be in touch with the police or the press. But what follows is a shocking and deafening silence. And Troy, a freelance writer, finds herself as fiercely determined to protect Paul as she is to find out what happened to him.  She'll need skill and courage to survive and protect her charge and herself. 
     Sara J. Henry's powerful and compelling Learning to Swim will move and disturb readers right up to its shattering conclusion.

Learning To Swim

by Sara J. Henry

Review Date:

Recommended Age:

Overall Rating:

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry is mystery story initiated by an unlikely but incredible event.  What would you do if you saw a small boy thrown off a ferry?  Troy, the main character, jumps in and saves the boy, and thus starts a journey of discovery.  A discovery not only of who would be so despicable to do such a thing but also the discovery of what family means and the interpersonal relationships that we all have.


The mystery surrounding the kidnapping and attempted murder of the child is interesting enough that the reader will want to finish the book to see the exciting conclusion.  However, some of the actions of the characters seem out of place or unrealistic.  There also seems to be times when the story stalls and the writer ends the scene without a lot of closure.  Essentially the novel is a "feel good" story and one that is exciting enough to be worthy of reading.

Content Analysis:  

Language/Profanity: 8 Religious exclamations; 12 mild obscenities; 2 religious profanities; 1 derogatory names; 1 anatomical term.


Violence/Gore:  Child is tied up and thrown off a ferry into a lake; Child tells of hearing his mother being shot in another room; Character physically attacks a woman, grabs her by the throat; Second hand account of a murder-suicide by gunshot; Character is hit by car while on a bicycle; characters wrestle on a sailboat, one is wounded by a gun shot and then receives a broken arm, one drowns; second hand accounts of kidnapping/murders that occurred in real life, non-detailed.


Sex/Nudity: Several references to flirting also some gossip about ex-boyfriends; characters cuddle and fall asleep in each other's arms, romantic in nature; characters kiss; reference to possible sexual abuse in foster care perpetrated on a minor, non-detailed; reference to possible incestuous relationship between brother and sister, non-detailed.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of family member; kidnapping; murder; murder of a child; embezzlement; unwed pregnancy; adultery.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adults drink beer and wine; Rohypnol used.

Reviewed By Matthew
No image available