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The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

Jackson, Joshilyn

10,884 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0446579653 / ISBN 13: 9780446579650
Published by Grand Central Publishing, 2008
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About this Item

[8], 311, [1] p. Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the family skeleton stays in the closet or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. While Laurel's life seems neatly on track, everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question. Laurel Gray Hawthorne hasn't seen a ghost in the thirteen years she and her husband have lived in the beautiful gated neighborhood of Victorianna.But in the dog days of a Florida August, she wakes to find a dead girl standing by her bed. It's the ghost of her daughter's best friend, Molly, who leads the way to her own small body floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Now, with polce on her lawn asnd neighbors peeking over the fence, Laurel's carefully constructed existence cracks and her past seeps through." From the Good Reads website: "Joshilyn Jackson was born by the sugar white beaches of Florida s Redneck Riviera and raised by a tribe of wild fundamentalists who taught her to be virtuous and upright. Unfortunately, it didn t take, and Ms. Jackson dropped out of college to pursue a career as an actor. She worked in regional repertoire, wrote plays, and traveled the southern third of the country with a dinner theatre troupe. She decided both virtue and an education were worth the work, so she went back to college to study English literature, focusing on Modern and Medieval Theater. She graduated with honors from Georgia State. She fell for the hometown guy who d been her best friend since she was a teenager and followed him north, braving Chicago s winters to marry him. She recovered from a near-terminal case of culture shock in time to earn her MA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Jackson spent seven years in as a southern ex-pat in Illinois, working with various theatre groups as an actor and playwright and selling short fiction to literary magazines and anthologies such as Calyx and TriQuarterly. She also taught English at UIC, trying to explain the function of the gerund and why Waiting for Godot is a great play to crowds of hung-over 18 year olds. In her first year of teaching, she won the Student s Choice Award for Best English Instructor. Motherhood made her homesick, and in 1998 she moved back to the South to teach part time, raise kids full time, and try her hand at writing novels in her copious spare time (read: every day from 4 am til the baby woke up. ) She s been a full time novelist since gods in Alabama sold at auction in 2005, but Jackson s teaching experience and theatre background have both come in handy. She enjoys reading the audio versions of her novels, and she s been on faculty of writing workshops all over the country and enjoys speaking at book festivals, libraries and literary events. She occasionally teaches a creative writing class, most recently at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Emory University. She currently lives outside of Atlanta with her husband Scott and their two kids, Sam and Maisy Jane. They share space with Bagel the hound dog, Ansley the small auxiliary dog, Boggart Cat, and a twenty-three-pound, one-eyed Maine Coon cat named Franz Schubert. Their outsize aquarium has, over the years, hosted a pair of brother gerbils who turned out to be an incestuous brother-sister baby factory, tadpoles who turned out to be mosquito larvae, more tadpoles who turned out to be newt larvae, caterpillars who turned out to be verminous hairy tent worms, and an egg sack that recently hatched out several zillion cannibalizing mantises who are now living in the back garden. This crew is often supplemented by stray beasts of all stripes seeking permanent homes." Good in very good dust jacket. Signed by author. Minor page discoloration. Rear board somewhat weak at hinge, reinforced with a bit of glue. First edition. First edition [stated]. First printing [stated]. Bookseller Inventory # 66545

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Hardcover

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the literal family skeleton stays in the closet or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neatly on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 13-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is inexplicable--an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia's help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family's guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.

Richer and more rewarding than any story Joshilyn Jackson has yet written, yet still packed with Jackson's trademarked outrageous characters, sparkling dialogue, and defiantly twisting plotting, THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING is destined both to delight Jackson's loyal fans and capture a whole new audience.

About the Author:

Joshilyn Jackson, a native of the Deep South, has worked as an actor and an award-winning teacher, and is now a writer and a mother of two. She is the author of GODS IN ALABAMA and BETWEEN, GEORGIA. Jackson lives with her husband and children outside of Atlanta.

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