Swimming Upstream – Ruth Mancini
Ruth Mancini’s Swimming Upstream
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Womens’ Literature
Cover: Big Face Love
I typically hate big faces on novel covers; hate with the fiery passion of a 13 stars Indian dish. This one I don’t hate. I really like the colors, I love the red font, and I really like the subtlety of the fact that she’s swimming [upstream].
Lizzie Taylor (Elizabeth Taylor…yup) finds herself alone for the first time in ages and, unlike most of us females (or men really) decides that she should really take the time to get to know herself and strengthen herself. She rediscovers some friends of old (who turn out to be slightly crazy) and a great book ensues.
The writing: This is a simple story, it’s not too long, and it’s deeply engrossing. I finished it in a couple of days. Ruth’s writing is clear and stylistically lovely. The woman knows how to paint a picture and great, very human (and mostly fun!), characters.
London: London is my favorite city on earth (so far) and Ruth makes me want to move there even more. Especially if I can hang out with cool females like Lizzie, Zara, and Catherine (well, maybe not so much Catherine).
The maybe not so good:
Self Help: I felt like, occasionally, the writing would venture a bit too deeply toward the preachy. I think it’s great that Lizzy is so independent, and strong, but I don’t need to know all about how she got there.
Catherine: Catherine is a GREAT character. She’s vulnerable, sympathetic and completely human. However, she’s so incredibly weak that, like Lizzie, I spent quite a bit of time wanting to shake her. Also, next to Lizzie’s strength, Catherine looked downright pathetic at times. Ooooooh Catherine *head shake.*
Most kickass character: Lizzie
Hands down. Lizzie has some horrible stuff happen to her. a) She and her boyfriend of 7 years (7 YEARS guys! That’s so long! I totally crumble at a breakup after 1 year. 7 YEARS that like…a lifetime) break up. b) She finds out he’s been cheating on her and knocked up the girl. c) She’s totally accident prone (like really, not Bella Swan accident prone). d) Other really bad stuff happens that I can’t tell you ‘cause…spoilers. All of that, and she stays strong, she moves on quickly, with each thing she doesn’t collapse, she just becomes stronger and more sure of herself. I want to be this girl. I should hang a picture of this girl on my wall and look at it anytime I want to do something stupid.
This is a great book. I loved it. You should read it too
Suggested for: You (more likely, if you are female)
Check out my Spotify Playlist for Swimming Upstream right now!*
1) Foundations – Kate Nash
2) Nobody Told me – Rosetta Trio
3) Si j’avais ete – Paris Combo
4) Whistle For The Choir – The Fratellis
5) Give Em Hell – Little Hurrican
6) The Other Girls – Vivian Girls
7) How to Be Alone – Allison Weiss
8) A New England – Kirsty MacColl
9) Je cherche un homme – Jill Barber
10) This is the Life – Amy Macdonald
11) Sleep Alone – Bat For Lashes
12) Warwick Avenue – Duffy
13) Padam Padam – Edith Piaf
14) Comin’ Home Baby – Mel Torme
“He was a wise man who invented beer” ~Plato
Drink recommendation: Beer! Cheers! There’s a lot of scenes that take place in pubs – so it just feels right!
“Breaking up is…” I searched for something comforting to say which didn’t sound like a clicke. “It’s like that feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when you’re about to jump out of an aeroplane.”
*Note about the Spotify Playlist. I really wanted #8 to be the Billy Bragg version of New England. I cried (literally) when I found out it had been removed from Spotify. Please listen to it right now from HERE