Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book was just kind of meh to me. The whole premise and biggest plot point occurs in the first chapter. Florence Adler is the youngest daughter of a Jewish couple. She loves to swim, she’s amazing at it, and she’s decided to try to swim the English channel (btw it’s in the 1930’s so that’s a pretty big deal). She goes out to train one day and drowns. The rest of the novel follows her parents, a Jewish girl they’ve taken in, her swim coach, her niece, and her brother in law as they decide and execute a plan to keep this tragedy from her very pregnant sister who is on bed rest in the hospital since she mad a very late term miscarriage the previous summer.
This is really just a character study in grief. It was incredibly predictable how events would pan out and what the characters’ reactions would be. The writing was ok. For this sort of narrative where the character development is the main driver of the work I like to see beautiful writing shine through and it just did not do that here.
Florence and her family are Jewish so that was interesting due to when the novel takes place. I wasn’t aware how Americans in general viewed the plight of European Jews at this point in history. Otherwise, though, this isn’t a novel I’d recommend to many people.

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