It was an accident . . . wasn't it?
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 . . .
Praise for THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING:
'Joshilyn Jackson has done it again . . . her skilful unravelling of family secrets and betrayal left me breathless. You must read this book!' - Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants
'A ghost story, family psychodrama, and murder mystery all in one. A wild, smartly calibrated achievement' - Entertainment Weekly
'A great tale [that] builds to an exciting and violent ending - one that surprises and yet seems to fit.' - USA Today
'Jackson matches effortless storytelling with a keen eye for character and heart-stopping circumstances' - Publishers Weekly
Jackson matches effortless Southern storytelling with a keen eye for character and heart-stopping circumstances. Laurel, a high-end quilt maker, sees the ghost of a little girl in her bedroom one night. When it leads her to the backyard and a dead girl in the swimming pool, the life Laurel had hoped to build in her gated Florida neighborhood with her video-game designer husband, David, and their tween daughter, Shelby, starts to fall apart. Though the police clear the drowning as accidental, it soon appears that Shelby and her friend Bet may have been involved. Bet, who lives in DeLop, Laurel's impoverished hometown, was staying over the night of the drowning and plays an increasingly important role as the truth behind the drowning comes to light. Meanwhile, Laurel's sister, Thalia, whose unconventional ways are anathema to Laurel's staid existence, comes to stay with the family and helps sort things out. Subplots abound: Laurel thinks David is having an affair, and Thalia reveals some ugly family secrets involving the death of their uncle. What makes this novel shine are its revelations about the dark side of Southern society and Thalia and Laurel's finely honed relationship, which shows just how much thicker blood is than water.