The First Rule of Swimming by Courtney Angela Brkic

 29dc66bf000f605a535ff25ccea56f63THE FIRST RULE OF SWIMMING by Courtney Angela Brkic

Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company

I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. The book will be published tomorrow, 28 May 2013. The first thing that caught my attention to this book was the cover, it is absolutely beautiful.

The story is about two sisters, Magdalena and Jadranka, who lives on a small Croatian island called Rosmarina.  From when they were young, they regularly corresponded with their cousin Katarina, who now lives in New York.  Jadranka decided one day to leave for New York, upon Katarina’s visit request, however she later decides to stay.  Magdalena, although sad made peace with this, until she receives news from Katarina that Jadranka had disappeared. Magdalena sets off to New York to find her sister.

The sisters’ past plays off on the island, Rosmarina, which by the descriptions sounds idyllic. I love how the author described it. The characters, I found to be very likeable as well. The story revolves around familiy secrets, which Magdalena discovers during her search for Jadranka and also which Jadranka discovers during her search for her real father. Family secrets is not all, there are betrayal, loss and pain.  The sisters has a strained relationship with their mother, suffered abuse by the hands of their stepfather, but their mother herself also suffered abuse… a secret she kept from everyone in her family.

I loved reading this novel, it’s atmospheric and an easy read. I found some questions unanswered, and some puzzles I would have loved to see resolved, but nonetheless I gave it a 4 star, because it was an enjoyable read.

If you like novels such as The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, you might just like this.

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