The Swimming Pool: A Novel

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

The Swimming Pool: A Novel

by Holly Lecraw

Doubleday Canada | January 3, 2012 | Hardcover

The Swimming Pool: A Novel is rated 2.8 out of 5 by 5.
An illicit affair, an unsolved murder, an intense summer romance in Cape Cod - introducing Holly LeCraw''s explosive and stunningly-written debut.

Seven summers ago, on Cape Cod, Marcella Atkinson - a married woman - fell in love with Cecil McClatchey, married father of two. Fuelled by desire and mutual respect, a secret affair blossomed, but when Cecil''s wife was murdered, their romance promptly ended. Cecil died soon after, and while his wife''s murder has never been solved, he remains a suspect.

Years later, Marcella returns to her beach house on the Cape, where she encounters Cecil''s grown son, Jed, who remembers her quite vividly from his youth. As both of them struggle to cope with the grief and loss of the past, they fall into a torrid and complicated affair. But as their relationship deepens, it leads to emotional crises and revelations about the unsolved murder of Jed''s mother. Brilliant and seductive, this is a debut novel about love in all its forms and about the ripple effects of actions both good and evil.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.51 × 6.41 × 1.2 in

Published: January 3, 2012

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385667914

ISBN - 13: 9780385667913

Found in: Fiction and Literature

save 93%

  • Out of stock online

$2.00  ea

Online Price

$29.95 List Price

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw WTF???????? I apologize, but what kind of ending was that? I enjoyed reading this novel and I was anxious to find out what would happen to the main characters after many revelations in the plot but (spoiler alert!!!!) it never came!!! The story was building towards what I thought was going to be an explosive climax but it ended up just being 'blah' then 'huh' followed by 'that's it?'
Date published: 2011-07-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good easy read The Swimming Pool by Holly Lecraw is an easy read. The only downfall is that it goes back and forth...present to past. The mystery of Betsy's unsolved murder is the plot line...the intertwine action of two families rotating around this mystery. The book delivers a heartbreaking lust affair, unsolve murder and family secrets. I did not like the ending...there is no closure.
Date published: 2010-11-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Right in the middle This book was easy to read. Not great & not bad. Not beautifully written, but simple & easy to follow. It had a nice rhythm between each chapter. After you read all the other GREAT books out there, if you have time, read this one
Date published: 2010-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Beautifully written, this story of relationships and family meanders along at a wonderfully slow pace allowing for Lecraw to be wonderfully descriptive of the Cape Cod setting and the characters that people it. Not big on action or even solid closure, you can forgive the author because humanity is her bigger picture. The storyline with Callie is the strongest and most heartbreaking
Date published: 2010-05-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Beautiful prose Cape Cod is the setting for Holly LeCraw's debut novel, The Swimming Pool. In the first chapter we are introduced to Anthony Atkinson. He has called his ex-wife Marcella to let her know that their daughter, Toni, has taken a summer job babysitting for Callie McClatchey. Callie's brother Jed will be at the cottage as well. When Jed finds a bathing suit at the cottage that he remembers Marcella wearing at one of his parent's parties, he inexplicably seeks her out. The past and the present collide as Jed and Marcella begin an affair. Marcella's affair with Jed's father Cecil was the reason for her divorce. Cecil's wife Betsy was murdered on the night that he ended the affair. The past is slowly and tantalizingly revealed to us through the memories of Marcella, Callie and Jed. The present is inevitably affected by secrets, recriminations and confessions revealed. Although the mystery of Betsy's unsolved murder is the strongest plot line, it is the interactions of the characters, their feelings, needs and fears that are the real story. LeCraw has an incredibly deft hand with description. The affairs of Marcella are described in sensual terms and never denigrate into tawdriness. However, I just never really warmed up to Marcella. I found her to be a weak woman, and somewhat pitiable, despite her magnetic attraction for men. She seemed to adapt herself to what the men in her life needed. Her acceptance of an criminal act perpetrated by her husband really galled me. LeCraw has done a superb job in drawing her characters and provoking a reaction from this reader. I honestly didn't like most of them. Callie's storyline was the one that had me holding my breath. A new mother for the second time, she is suffering from undiagnosed severe post partum depression. Her thoughts on harming her newborn are truly frightening. The Swimming Pool is definitely not plot driven, despite the description given at the beginning of this review, and the mystery surrounding Betsy's death is easily answered midway. What stands out are the prose - they really are beautiful. I found myself rereading many passages just to savour the words. A strong debut from a talented new author.
Date published: 2010-05-18

– More About This Product –

The Swimming Pool: A Novel

by Holly Lecraw

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.51 × 6.41 × 1.2 in

Published: January 3, 2012

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385667914

ISBN - 13: 9780385667913

Read from the Book

I Bodies, bodies. The beach was crowded, Marcella had not expected all these people everywhere--she had forgotten it was Saturday, forgotten, even, that it was June. Today, after Anthony''s phone call, she had come here gulping for broad sky, a long horizon, a vast and indifferent emptiness, but instead the beach was alive with babies crying and children running and their parents yelling or laughing or just watching, with that look of contentment she faintly remembered from a long time ago-- She veered toward the tide line, away from the massed umbrellas and beach blankets, going through a swath of tiny shells. They crunched beneath her feet, but she did not alter her path. Anthony had said, "I''ve got some news." His voice had been odd, solicitous and pained at the same time, and when he had said it, news, her throat had caught and she had thought again that she hated the phone. "Toni has gotten a job. Babysitting." "Babysitting! Our Antonia?" She laughed with crazy relief, see, you worry for nothing-- And then he told her where. "What?" she whispered, her laughter gone, gone. "Anthony. You can''t let her." "Chella, what the hell am I supposed to say?" There was a pause and then he went on more quietly, grimly, "She found the job herself. She didn''t tell me ahead of time. We like shows of initiative." Marcella didn''t keep in touch with anyone from Cape Cod. It was Anthony''s place, it always had been, and when they divorced it had seemed natural to leave it, too, entirely.
read more read less

From the Publisher

An illicit affair, an unsolved murder, an intense summer romance in Cape Cod - introducing Holly LeCraw''s explosive and stunningly-written debut.

Seven summers ago, on Cape Cod, Marcella Atkinson - a married woman - fell in love with Cecil McClatchey, married father of two. Fuelled by desire and mutual respect, a secret affair blossomed, but when Cecil''s wife was murdered, their romance promptly ended. Cecil died soon after, and while his wife''s murder has never been solved, he remains a suspect.

Years later, Marcella returns to her beach house on the Cape, where she encounters Cecil''s grown son, Jed, who remembers her quite vividly from his youth. As both of them struggle to cope with the grief and loss of the past, they fall into a torrid and complicated affair. But as their relationship deepens, it leads to emotional crises and revelations about the unsolved murder of Jed''s mother. Brilliant and seductive, this is a debut novel about love in all its forms and about the ripple effects of actions both good and evil.

From the Jacket

"More than an auspicious debut, Holly LeCraw's first novel is gripping, passionate and beautifully written from start to finish…. A moving chronicle of two damaged families struggling to free themselves from a complex web of secrets and lies."
— Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Little Children

"What an intelligent, beautifully plotted, intriguing and un-put-downable story…. I was totally captivated and lost in admiration for this masterful novel."
— Elinor Lipman, My Latest Grievance, The Inn at Lake Devine, and Then She Found Me

"Holly's LeCraw's The Swimming Pool is a complex, astonishingly well-crafted, and completely compelling debut."
— Anita Shreve

About the Author

Holly LeCraw lives outside of Boston with her husband, who is a journalist, and three kids. Her short fiction and book reviews have appeared in a range of publications, including the Edge City Review and the Boston Book Review. Her short fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Though a newcomer as a novelist, she grew up in the book industry.

Editorial Reviews

"More than an auspicious debut, Holly LeCraw''s first novel is gripping, passionate and beautifully written from start to finish…. A moving chronicle of two damaged families struggling to free themselves from a complex web of secrets and lies."
— Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Little Children

"What an intelligent, beautifully plotted, intriguing and un-put-downable story…. I was totally captivated and lost in admiration for this masterful novel."
— Elinor Lipman, My Latest Grievance, The Inn at Lake Devine, and Then She Found Me

"Holly''s LeCraw''s The Swimming Pool is a complex, astonishingly well-crafted, and completely compelling debut."
— Anita Shreve

"Difficult to put down."
—Entertainment Weekly

"The Swimming Pool is more than an auspicious debut. [It] is gripping, passionate, and beautifully written from start to finish."
—Tom Perrotta

Bookclub Guide

1. What are all the different forces that draw Jed and Marcella together? What taboos, exactly, are they breaking? What fruits does this relationship bear - and are they worth the transgression?

2. What do you think Jed and Callie might have been like if their parents hadn''t died? What do you think it did to them losing their parents just as they were about to become adults themselves - how would that be different from other timing?

3. Marcella begins the book as a very broken and fragile woman. How long has she been like this? What has contributed to it, besides her divorce and Cecil''s death, and to what degree? What is her progression throughout the book - does she end up in a different psychological and emotional place? What are the signs that she might have changed?

4. The cocktail party at the McClatcheys'' pool becomes a centerpiece: at different points we see it from Jed''s, Callie''s, Anthony''s, Cecil''s, and Marcella''s POVs. How did such a mundane event become so central? What did that day mean for all these different characters? Discuss why all of them were so vulnerable at those particular times. What might Toni''s and Betsy''s perspectives - the only missing ones - have been like?

5. Why do you think LeCraw uses different points of view? Why might she choose a particular POV for a scene? How would the book be different if it were only from, say, Jed''s point of view, or some other character''s?

6. Do you think Marcella and Anthony will get back together? Does Marcella still love him? How and why?

7. What sort of man should Marcella have married? How might her life have been different - or would it have been? What sort of woman should Anthony have married? Or did they marry the right people after all?

8. LeCraw often documents action not as it is happening, but as a character is remembering it. How does the memory add an extra layer of meaning to the action? Why do you think particular flashbacks are interwoven at the points they are?

9. Discuss Callie and Betsy''s relationship - does it seem smooth? How does the nature of their relationship affect Callie''s grief process after Betsy''s death?

10. What is your prognosis for Callie and Billy''s marriage? Do you think Callie will change as a result of her postpartum depression?

11. (spoiler) How culpable is Anthony in Betsy’s death? In the end, how does it affect the reader''s experience of the novel and understanding of the characters to know or not know for sure?

12. (spoiler) How do you feel about Anthony and Marcella''s decision not to tell Jed what they know? At the close of the book, do you think they will keep their secret? Why or why not? What might happen either way?