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Clare s gift for storytelling and her quirky but incredibly accessible style make her novels a sheer joy to read She has a talent for creating characters who are not only lifelike and eccentric, but immensely believable, and who have stayed with me long after I closed the book Learning to Swim is farthan a novel of first love It s a story about individuality, family secrets and contrasting upbringings, and I can t recommend it enough. 4 review Quirky book, follows a formula I have seen before shy quiet lonely person gets drawn into a colourful family, and eventually they are treated as a member of the family, before some tragedy results in their total ejection and rejection But does it well, and the ending, whilst unlikely, satisfies.Thank you to Nicki for the loan of the book.Actually, on reflection, I am downgrading the book to 3 Annoying things are surfacing SPOILER ALERT My mind is whispering to me are you kidd 4 review Quirky book, follows a formula I have seen before shy quiet lonely person gets drawn into a colourful family, and eventually they are treated as a member of the family, before some tragedy results in their total ejection and rejection But does it well, and the ending, whilst unlikely, satisfies.Thank you to Nicki for the loan of the book.Actually, on reflection, I am downgrading the book to 3 Annoying things are surfacing SPOILER ALERT My mind is whispering to me are you kidding Frances moons over Nicky enough, she gets him Lawrence moons over Lexi enough, he gets her, and Abigail moons over Rad enough, and gets him Really And theI think about Rad theI dislike him Pressuring his girlfriend to sleep with him when she is clearly not ready Chucking her in such a violently aggressive way Supposedly regretful, he keeps away when her sister dies, with no consideration at all for her feelings, just his own, and he hides from her that he is returning to oh wherever it was Risking breaking her heart all over again He is a shit really I fell in love with this book I adored the bohemian characters, the way the writer picks up on the minutiae of life and how she captures the painfully awkward teenage years I think it help reading this when I was in my thirties, that way you can really empathise with how life turns out for some of the characters. The cover doesn t do this book justice highly recommended for readers of Barbara Trapido and Kate Atkinson. Total feel good book for me I was travelling and someone left this completely dog earred and battered copy in one of the hostels we stayed in I remember as I finished it it fell apart I looked for it for ages at home but as I could not remember the author wasn t easy Anyway, enjoyed the book identified with the slightly nerdy main character and found her really funny Plus reading it reminds me of my travels Great book for me I really enjoyed reading this I wasn t glued to the book wanting to know what would happen next instead I read it slowly as though savouring a good wine Clare Chambers s writing reads so effortlessly, it s like you re reading something you wrote yourself, as she adds some thoughts about life that you ll probably identify with I found a lot of parallels with In a good light , the 1st novel I read from this writer It starts with a present situation and then goes back in time for most of the I really enjoyed reading this I wasn t glued to the book wanting to know what would happen next instead I read it slowly as though savouring a good wine Clare Chambers s writing reads so effortlessly, it s like you re reading something you wrote yourself, as she adds some thoughts about life that you ll probably identify with I found a lot of parallels with In a good light , the 1st novel I read from this writer It starts with a present situation and then goes back in time for most of the book until everything is explained and you get back to where you started The themes are also similar growing up, eccentric hippy parents, an older brother and some tragic events One thing I didn t love was the excessive dramatism and tragedy I know what their goal was but I don t think it was necessary to go to such lengths Of course, this probably made the bookromantic but I think it could have been just as good as story with less extraordinary drama Spoilers alert Sometimes I wondered why Abigail was so drawn to the Radley family They didn t seem that interesting to me and they kept making her feel uncomfortable The fact that they completely contrasted with her own family is a factor, but it doesn t seem enough But most of all, I wasn t particularly captivated by the Birdie story The character wasn t very developed so I didn t feel like I got to know her at all And I found it strange that she started spending all her time with the Radleys, not to mention the fact that she never spoke to Abigail again after she was broken hearted and instead started going out with Rad all by herself What kind of a sister does that sigh Despite the rant, I really enjoyed the book, it s a 4.5 .FREE DOWNLOAD ♔ Learning To Swim ⚔ Abigail Jex never expected to see any of the Radley household again In dramatic contrast to her own conventional family, the Radleys were extraordinary, captivating creatures transplanted from a bohemian corner of North London to outer suburbia, and the young Abigail found herself drawn into their magic circle the eccentric Frances, her new best friend Frances mother, the liberated, headstrong Lexi and of course the brilliant, beautiful RadAbigail thought she d banished the ghost of her life with them and the catastrophe that ended it, but thirteen years later a chance encounter forces her to acknowledge that the spell is far from broken I really enjoyed this book Clare Chambers is excellent at character and story development This was sent in England in the 70s and 80s and dealt with childhood and family relationships Very well done. Not a bad book just soooo slow I ll come back to it another time maybe It s well written, just nothing happens www.bestsellerbooklist.co.uk Not a bad book just soooo slow I ll come back to it another time maybe It s well written, just nothing happens www.bestsellerbooklist.co.uk An unusual story that kept me hooked until the end