Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Review - Swimming Upstream by Ruth Mancini

Swimming Upstream
Ruth Mancini
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: (October 18, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 178176882X
ISBN-13: 978-1781768822

Lizzie Taylor has begun to achieve all the things she thought she had ever wanted. She is in a relationship with Larson, a man she has loved for years, and while her career could be better, it is at least satisfying. Yet, she is not happy. There isn't anything specific she can name to cause that unhappiness, but there is that sense of discontent.

When she is hit by a car and is injured, that event propels her in a new direction. Larson is not helpful or supportive in her time of need, so she decides to leave him and move to London. She has the offer of a better job there, and maybe it is time for a change.

Lizzie battles to overcome the legacy of her past, while reconnecting with friends Zara and Catherine. Each friend has a secret that is slowly revealed to Lizzie, and her natural impulse is to help her friends. Catherine has been habitually abused by a boyfriend, who also seems to have a yen for Lizzie, and the zaniness that has been endearing about Zara is actually the manic stage of bipolar disorder. When the depression hit, it pulls Zara into the darkest corners of her mind.

Attempting to support her friends in their challenges while sorting out her own life provides a story that is vivid, poignant, and sometimes humorous. It is also harshly real in places, and the author does not hold back on the tough subjects such as date rape, mental illness, and domestic violence.

This is an enjoyable read, and I wanted to cheer for Lizzie every time she made a good choice and overcame another obstacle.

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