Friday, March 25, 2011
Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry......
Troy Chance (don't you just LOVE that name - especially for a girl?) is a young woman on a ferry on Lake Champlain, headed for Burlington, Vermont. I think it's ironic that the last two books I have read were set in or near Burlington. That has almost nothing to do with this post.
As the ferry traveling in the opposite direction gets near the one she's on, Troy sees something tossed overboard. The something appears to have a face, so without hesitation (or much of one, anyway), Troy dives into the water and swims to the spot where she saw the object hit the water. Miraculously, she finds it, hauls it to the surface, and "it" is a young boy. She drags a sweatshirt off him, swims approximately a mile to shore (I think), and makes her way to her car, fully expecting to see flashing lights of police cars and other emergency personnel at the ferry landing. But there is no one. She calls police departments on both sides of the lake, but no one has reported a young boy missing. She realizes at some point that the sweatshirt she pulled off the boy had the arms knotted tightly around the boy, proving that his fall from the ferry was no accident.
Not knowing what else to do, Troy takes the young boy home, feeds him and gets him into some dry clothes. He says very little, and when he does speak, it's in French.
I fell in love with this little boy just as Troy did, and not JUST because his name was Paul. I admired Troy not only for taking a huge risk with a young boy, but also because she knew how to completely disassemble a bicycle and put it back together. Suddenly I'm not so proud of myself for changing a flat tire, even if it WAS on the back.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read with interesting twists and turns. I appreciated the fact that Troy's efforts to find Paul's parents and find out what happened to him didn't always work out the way she planned them. She was an amateur, and she admitted her weaknesses even as she did her best to find clues. I was in awe of some of the ideas she came up with, but they weren't so outlandish that I found myself saying, "There's no way any normal person would have come up with that."
I recommend this book, and I hope Sara Henry has more where this one came from.