Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Review: Swimming Between Worlds by Elaine Neil Orr

Swimming Between Worlds
by Elaine Neil Orr

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 400
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  The lives of one young woman and two young men collide in a small neighborhood in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Kate, a recent college graduate, is still reeling from the deaths of her beloved parents when the discovery of hidden letters forces her to re-examine everything she knew about her family. Tacker, a young engineering student and all-around boy-hero, has returned from a West African odyssey where he fell in love with the local culture but was sent home in shame. Kate's and Tacker's stories come together when, on the same day and in different moments, they encounter a young African-American man named Gaines. The relationship that develops between the three is complicated, as each one searches for love, freedom, and new beginnings.

Kritters Thoughts:  Two main characters in this book.  Kate has just graduated from college and is trying to decide where she wants to go next.  She is parentless and living in her childhood home so she has some security, but no parental guidance.  Tacker has returned from a dramatic trip to Africa and is having to find a new direction in life.  Thankfully Tacker is able to take a job in his father's grocery store and take a moment to decide whats next.

Upon reading the synopsis and pitch for review for this book, I was ready for a great civil rights movement book and it absolutely had parts about the movements beginning moments in North Carolina.  I loved the parts that really highlighted how Winston Salem was in the middle of the civil rights movement.  BUT the African storyline and Kate in general were just ok in my opinion.  For most of the book I felt as though the African storyline was an afterthought and I couldn't see the connection between that storyline and the North Carolina storyline and then it all clicked towards the end.  I think the slowness of the beginning and the disconnectedness of it all were hard for me to get into, but in the end the book redeemed itself.   

Overall I think this book was fine, it wasn't outstanding and it didn't leave me wanting to pass it around to all of my fellow readers who love historical fiction.  I would send this book to a reader who has read all of the civil rights books and wants to add another to their list, but if you are like me and haven't read a ton of fiction that centers around this point of history, this book didn't satisfy that itch.  It did make me want to find another book about civil rights and dive into that one very soon.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley NAL.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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