In this unpretentious, straightforward book four very different women come together to swim at dawn at Shelly Bay. Ocean swimming, and eventually each other, become the bulwarks in each life. Widowed Marie is in her sixties, physically fit from daily swimming, but lonely. She’s a strong no-nonsense character though and her good Catholic heart is opened in more ways than one. Elaine is English. She sold her interior decorating business to live in Sydney with her Australian doctor husband and is finding it difficult to adjust, seeking refuge in a few too many gin and tonics. Leanne is a young nurse at the local hospital. She’s extremely self-contained but when the other women come to know her sad backstory they can see how brave she’s been. Theresa, of Italian background, is the mother of two young children and has a sunny, giving disposition. She volunteers at Leanne’s hospital. Unfortunately, she’s not blessed with an understanding husband and her health takes a major knock.
Sophie Green does a good job of describing their lives and how they bond with each other. They could easily be women we know. Through the lens of Theresa’s disintegrating marriage Green explores a theme familiar to many: the degree to which women give without putting themselves equal first and getting back; the lack of value placed on child rearing, housework and in Theresa’s case, Nonna-caring. The book ends before this is entirely resolved and let’s face it - men whose attitude is I pay for everything so why should I help, rarely have epiphanies. The need of children for decent, caring fathers seems not to occur to them. While some of the brushstrokes may be a little too broad, the book nevertheless is filled with insights both subtle and obvious, making for a very satisfying read. The main lesson is that true friendship is the most valuable thing we have. Particularly enjoyable is the character of the ageing Trevor, a leering Aussie blokey bloke who fancies himself and really doesn’t get women at all. When feeling particularly waspish one could wish for all Trevors to have heart attacks.
- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Australia; 1 edition (23 July 2019)
- ISBN-10: 0733641164
- ISBN-13: 978-0733641169
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.9 x 23.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 540 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)