The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (2008)
by Joshilyn Jackson
The Cryptkeeper says: This one has everything -- ghosts, buried family secrets, betrayal, mystery, and a rich Southern setting. Not to mention a delicious lead-up to an explosive finish!
Entertainment Weekly says:
"A ghost story, family psychodrama, and murder mystery all in one. Jackson's latest is a wild, smartly calibrated achievement. Grade: A-."
Publisher's Weekly says: "Jackson matches effortless Southern storytelling with a keen eye for character and heart-stopping circumstances."
Lauren Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother keep family skeletons in the closet or sewing her acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister, Thalia, is her opposite, an impoverished actress who prides herself on exposing the lurid truths lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neatly on track -- a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, a lovely suburban home -- everything she holds dear is threatened the night she is visited by the ghost of her 13-year-old neighbor Molly. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly, floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is an unseemly mystery that no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Laurel enlists Thalia's help, even though she knows it comes with a high price tag. Together, they set out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about their family's haunted past, the true state of Laurel's marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.
******Recommended Readalike: Sharp Objects (2006), by Gillian Flynn