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The Swimming Pool    by Holly LeCraw order for
Swimming Pool
by Holly LeCraw
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday Canada, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Marcella Atkinson is a divorced woman and distant from her only daughter, Toni. Marcella is still dealing with the aftermath of an affair she had seven years ago on Cape Cod. Cecil McClatchey was her lover, a married father of two. The night Marcella and Cecil ended their relationship, Cecil's wife Betsy was murdered. Shortly afterwards, Cecil died in a car crash. Betsy's murder was never solved and Cecil was never charged, even though he was under suspicion.

Cecil's children, Callie and Jed, are now grown adults, trying to move on without their parents. They have returned to their summer home at the Cape for the first time since Betsy's death. Callie has asked Jed to help out with her two children, the youngest (her infant daughter) born prematurely. Jed has taken a leave of absence from work, knowing Callie has been suffering over the years. Callie has also hired nineteen year old Toni Atkinson to help. While Jed is going through the house he finds a woman's bathing suit in a closet and remembers the sexy woman at their pool party who had worn it. Why is it here, and was it forgotten or a keepsake for someone?

Jed decides to find Marcella. They meet and talk of the past and Marcella confesses she had an affair with Cecil. Soon they are drawn together and begin their own affair, keeping it hidden from Callie and Toni. Jed becomes obsessed with Marcella, wanting to know details about her affair with his father. Toni has developed a crush on Jed and casually admits this to Marcella. As Jed spends more and more time away from Callie and the children, Callie suffers in silence. She is fighting depression and becomes focused on storing away pain medication. When she takes matters into her own hands and cries out for help, Jed begins to reevaluate their situation.

The Swimming Pool is about family, love, lies, and murder. The story is told in parallels between Marcella's old affair with Cecil and present one with Jed. The characters are all flawed and dysfunctional, leaving you with a feeling of unrest. LeCraw has the reader feeling the pain and desperation that the characters endure, and that is an amazing feat. You will turn the pages until the end.

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