Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Love and Loss: the Bond Between Sisters: The First Rule of Swimming by Courtney Angela Brkic



Magdelena and her sister Jadranka were raised by their grandparents on Rosmarina, a small island off the coast of Croatia. Magdelena loves the island and has no desire to leave. Although the one boy she was interested in leaves the island, she decides to stay. Rather than marry someone else, she chooses to be a teacher. Jadranka was never happy with island life. When her cousin, Katarina, invites her to visit New York, she jumps at the chance. At first all seems to go well, but then Jadranka disappears. Unable to believe her sister would just walk away with no communication, Magdelena travels to New York to find her.

The is a well written book, but it moves very slowly. Although the disappearance of Jadranka and subsequent search for her are interesting, the constant flash backs to the grandparents days on the island slow the story. The island setting and characters are beautifully portrayed, but I thought too much time
was spent following the characters' daily lives.

The novel is primarily a character study examining the bond between sisters. The pace is slow with an emphasis on the characters' thoughts and descriptions of the island. At first I found it interesting, but it begins to wear as the plot develops.

I recommend this book if you enjoy a character study with lots of description. If you're looking for a fast moving, absorbing plot, this isn't the book for you.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.