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Description - The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

Laurel Hawthorne has worked hard to create a good life for her family, determined not to raise her daughter in the subdued, secretive household that she herself grew up in. And everything is just fine until the night she is awoken by a ghost in her bedroom; the ghost of 14-year-old neighbour Molly, whose body is now floating, face-down and lifeless in Laurel's swimming pool ...The whole town thinks it was an accident, but Laurel knows in her bones that there is something more sinister afoot. And that's when her perfect world begins to crumble. With the help of her eccentric sister, Laurel sets off on a mission to investigate what really happened to the girl who stopped swimming. But along the way she starts to uncover the truth about her family, and just what did happen in the woods all those years ago - on a day she has managed to blank out, until now ...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780340921937
ISBN-10: 0340921935
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 127mm x 23mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Hodder Paperback
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 17-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

US Kirkus Review » Ghosts, more figurative that literal, haunt Jackson's third novel (Between, Georgia, 2006, etc.).Laurel, who makes artistic quilts, and her computer geek husband, David, live with their 13-year-old daughter Shelby in Victorianna, a gated community in South Georgia near the Alabama line. One night, Laurel sees/dreams about the ghost of Shelby's best friend Molly, who is dripping wet. Laurel watches as Molly passes through her bedroom window and sinks to the bottom of Laurel's swimming pool. Laurel wakes screaming. In fact, Molly has drowned in what the police rule an accident. But Laurel has suspicions about a creepy neighbor. She is also terrified Shelby is somehow involved although Shelby swears she was asleep, as was her cousin Bet. Bet has been visiting for the summer, Laurel's pet charity case from the trailer-trash town that Laurel's mother escaped through marriage years ago. Using Bet's pathetic need for affection, Laurel pulls worrisome information from her and begins to track the truth about Molly's death. Lovably Aspergish David can't help, and Laurel's mother pretends never to see ugly truths, so Laurel, who has her own difficulty disturbing decorum, turns to her older sister Thalia, an actress who likes to live on the edge and has always found both Laurel's life in Victorianna and her marriage stultifying. With Thalia around, cracks begin to appear on the surface of Laurel's ever-so-controlled life. Thalia forces Laurel to confront problems in her marriage and to realize that the death of her Uncle Marty, her first "ghost," was not what it seemed. Laurel is meant to be the heroine but she's such a dolt, readers may not feel she deserves her happy ending after jumping to conclusions that turn out dangerously wrong. The tragic figure, Bet, gets short shrift, as if Jackson doesn't quite know what to do with her.An entertaining but shallow spin on a Southern Gothic. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Joshilyn Jackson

Joshilyn Jackson was born and grew up in the Deep South. A former actress and award-winning teacher, she is now a full-time writer. Joshilyn lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and their two children. You can visit her website at

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