The First Rule of Swimming - Courtney Angela Brkic
Release Date - June 2013
Courtney Angela Brkic
Little, Brown and Company
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
I admit, I struggled to find a rhythm with The First Rule of Swimming. The first chapters didn't really grab my attention. I couldn't figure out where things were going or how this all tied into a plot that was about a missing girl and the quest to find what happened to her. It took a few chapters, but once I figured out who was who and what was going on, the story became addicting.
Magdalena and her sister Jadranka have never really experienced what others would classify as a "normal" childhood. They have their family and live on the island of Rosmarina in Croatia. The island life hasn't been as blissful as some might think due at first to Communism and then to civil war. Many members of the family flee their homeland and try to start life anew in New York City. When Jadranka vanishes, Magdalena sets off to New York City to unravel what happened. Along the way, she's going to learn about buried secrets regarding her family.
The narrative in The First Rule of Swimming is simply beautiful. It's very descriptive and almost poetic at times. Characters all have their own flaws and strengths that make them endearing.
While I wasn't sure about sticking with the book, I'm very glad I did. In the end it was an endearing read.