Member Reviews

WARNING: it's another unpopular opinion review!!

I was honestly already afraid this would happen... I hadn't tried Amanda Prowse's writing yet back when I requested a copy, but I was intrigued by the blurb with the wild swimming angle and the promise of a main character finally following her dreams. It sounded like a fun and mostly uplifting story, and something that I usually enjoy. After reading one of her other books, I started to suspect that her writing simply wouldn't be a great fit for me... But since I already had a copy of Swimming To Lundy, I decided to give this author a second chance. Unfortunately, my instincts turned out to be right and I've come to the conclusion that this author just isn't for me.

Before I continue, I have to stress that this is by no means a bad read, and I know that this author has many fans that absolutely adore her writing. Sadly, I'm just not one of them... There is something about her writing style and choice of topics that simply isn't a right fit for me. The blurb is a bit misleading as well if you ask me, because I thought that Swimming To Lundy would be mainly uplifting; instead, the plot is stuffed to the brim with family drama and conflict, and it wasn't what I thought I had signed up for. I'm pretty allergic to family drama in the first place, so having such a high dose of it in this story was definitely a major disappointment.

I also wasn't a fan of the introduction of a not previously mentioned POV in the form of Harriet in 2002. Not only does it seem like a completely unrelated POV for a long time, but it also incorporates another pet peeve of mine: cheating. I would have never considered reading Swimming To Lundy if I had known there would be so much focus on cheating and the aftermath. I wasn't a fan of the diary entries at all, and Harriet's POV was mainly just extremely depressing. And sure, the link becomes clear after a while, but I still could have done without those chapters. To make things worse, there is also cheating in the present POV and even a love triangle AND insta-love vibe.

Like I said before, there is a LOT of family drama going on during most of the plot. You have the main character Tawrie's father, who drowned when she was eight. You have her alcoholic mother holding her back... And Tawrie's self doubt and being afraid to follow her dreams. Of course, there is plenty of drama on a romantic level as well, including the issues I mentioned above. It is just incredibly over the top and way much drama and negativity, and to make things worse the last-minute happy endings for everyone just aren't credible. What also irked me (and I hope this is fixed in the final version) are the many math errors along the way. Tawrie was eight when her father died in 2002 and twenty-eight in 2024, and the tragedy is being talked about as being twenty years ago; if those dates are correct, the numbers are definitely wrong. This is being done consistently during the plot, getting either dates or ages wrong. I haven't factored this in when I decided my rating, but still...

All in all I've definitely come to the conclusion that Amanda Prowse's writing and her (what feels like) heavily family drama focused stories simply aren't my cup of tea. Don't give up on my account if you haven't tried her writing yet though, because most people do seem to enjoy her books.

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Tawrie Gunn lives with her mother and nan in Ilfracombe a little town in Devon. She feels lost and unsure of the future after her dad's death when she was a little girl.

Twenty years previously, the Stratton family move from the city after Harriet's husband Hugo has an affair with their neighbour, with there 2 children bear (Edgar) and Dilly.

The family collide when bear (Edgar) meets Tawrie and its love a first sight!

This is a beautifully emotional written story of love, heartbreak and acceptance and a must read for anyone that is a true believer of family love and connection!

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The story flicks between Tawrie in the present day and Harriet in the early 2000’s. I wasn’t quite sure what the connection was between these two women but was more than happy to wait and found out.

Tawrie is in her late twenties and due to the dynamics of her family, she is letting life go by and given up on her hopes and dreams. I really felt for this woman who has so much to live for but is being held back by her past. In some ways, joining the Peacock Swimmers club, gives her a purpose and have to say I am in total awe of people that go and swim in the sea whatever the weather!

The setting of the small coastal town was picturesque. I loved the close community feel and there are lots of great characters we get to meet along the way like the other members of the swimming club, all two of them! Tawrie’s cousin Connie and the loveable Needle who you can’t fault for never giving up on his dreams!

Swimming to Lundy deals with some sensitive topics such as addiction, grief and infidelity. The author writes it with such warmth that had me laughing in part as well as crying. It shows us that no matter what happens in life, never to give up on our dreams. There is just something about this author’s novels that connects with me and never fails to leave me feeling lighter and positive. A wonderful book full of wit, family, love that leaves you feeling empowered!

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Main Characters:
-- Tawrie Gunn – has spent her entire life in Ilfracombe, lost her father when she was eight, wanted to be a midwife but has worked for her cousin Connie at Café on the Corner for 10 years, shares a birthday with her mother and her grandmother, they celebrate every year with a bonfire on the beach called Gunn Fire that most of the townspeople attend
-- Edgar – visiting from London, staying in a home he and his sister own and rent out for vacationers, taking a mini sabbatical from his job at a bank
-- Freda – Tawrie’s grandmother, Tawrie and her mother have lived with Freda since Tawrie’s father (Freda’s son) died 20 years prior, Freda has pretty much raised Tawrie
-- Annalee Gunn – Tawrie’s mother, has been an alcoholic as long as Tawrie remembers, spends her days at the pub and usually comes home drunk and sometimes with a random man in tow
-- Maudie and Jago – the Peacock Swimmers who swim in Hele Bay Beach every morning from March to September, married 68 years
-- Harriet Stratton – mom to Dilly and Bear, moved her family to Ilfracombe after her husband had an affair, hoping to put her marriage back together

When I tell you that I e-mailed the author the minute I finished this book to tell her how much I loved it, I am not exaggerating. Described as “the queen of family drama,” Amanda Prowse excels at storytelling and character development and weaving words together so beautifully. Swimming to Lundy is no exception and may be her best book yet.

The story is told from three perspectives. The first half alternates between Tawrie in 2024 and Harriet in 2002, and the second half brings Harriet into the present timeline with Tawrie.

Tawrie had planned to go to university and become a midwife, but she is convinced that the people in her life need her too much for her to leave. Ten years later, on the cusp of her 28th birthday, she feels stuck. She works at her cousin’s café. She helps Freda when her mom comes home drunk. She doesn’t feel depressed, but she isn’t happy.

She joins a group of wild swimmers who swim in the harbor every morning from March to September. What she doesn’t know is that the “group” is just Maudie and Jago, an older couple she ends up befriending because she is determined to make some changes. Every morning, she swims, talks to her dad, and imagines (hopes?) that one day she will find him on Lundy Island.

A year and a half later, she still swims with Maudie and Jago every morning from March to September, and she still works at her cousin’s café. One morning at the café, she spies a man in a pink shirt and finds herself completely intrigued by him even though she only saw him for a minute. The next morning, surprise surprise, Edgar happens to be near her bike when she comes out of the water and they strike up a conversation.

These are the interactions where Prowse excels at creating such realistic situations that set the tone for relationships, and you can’t help but smile. At the end of the conversation, Edgar has something to tell Tawrie:

“‘I- I’m not sure how to say this.’ He licked his dry lips and her heart jumped.

“‘Just say it!’ She giggled like the swishy haired girls who had always felt alien to her, like the bouncy haired girl who had held a curling wand as if it were gold.

“‘Tawrie…’ He took a breath.

“‘ Yes, Ed?’

“‘ You’ve dropped your knickers.’ He pointed at the grey blob that sat by her foot and as she stooped to gather them into her hand, she made a wish that when she righted herself he had disappeared, but no, there he was and he was laughing.”

Then there’s Harriet, who uproots her family to move away from everyone who knows them after her husband’s affair. She believes that if they are away from all the reminders, all the people talking behind their backs, everyone who knows what he did, maybe their marriage can survive.

I don’t want to tell too much about how the storylines come together or how everything plays out. There are pieces I figured out that aren’t exactly secrets or twists, but every reader should discover them organically like I did. Pieces of this story are heartbreaking, and it is, at the same time, so uplifting with the overarching message that life is short, do the things that make your life meaningful, and love the people you love as tightly as you can.

I have mentioned before that I discovered Prowse’s books in 2018 when someone on Twitter commented that they were so excited to see her upcoming release on NetGalley. When I read the description for "The Girl In The Corner," I requested it immediately and I have never looked back.

Amanda Prowse is always a must-read. 💖

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Amanda Prowse excels in writing contemporary fiction with believable situations and characters. Swimming to Lundy is an ambitious study of three generations of women living together and all suffering from the effects of grief.
Tawrie has become a bit stuck, staying in the same seaside North Devon village all her life and feeling she has to be there for Nana and her alcoholic mother.
She decides to challenge herself by swimming in the sea every day with a local club.
I imagined Tawrie would then set herself the challenge of swimming to Lundy. She gets there, but for other reasons. Lundy has a lot of symbolism for Tawrie in reframing her grief at losing a father she hardly knew.
The character who fascinated me most was her mother. We saw her, in a double timeline, as a young married woman, happy and carefree. And then in the present day, making an exhibition of herself in the pub and sleeping with random men. I thought the handling of her life and future was very sensitively handled.
A heart warming and uplifting read. Amanda Prowse has done it again!

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Could NOT put this one down! I haven't loved a book this much in a long time. Full of the feels and with a heroine you will root for until it hurts.

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This story is set in beautiful Devon and has 3 generations of women who are still mourning the loss of a Son Husband and Father 20 years after his death. Tawrie has put her life on hold as she feels she needs to stay for her mum and gran but feels that maybe the time is right to put her own feelings and happiness first.
This is a dual timeline novel as twenty years ago Harriet also has to decide which way her life decisions are going to take her.
Amanda Prowse always delivers a great read her characters are relatable and likeable. And her stories are poignant and deal with subjects we've all experienced in our own lives

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Amanda Prowse has been described as the Queen of Family Drama, and the description is so apt. She can take relatable situations and turn them into something extraordinary. Her characterisations are spot on, and the settings are described so beautifully that you feel like you have been there.

The story is told in alternating chapters. One of current day Tawrie who lives with her mother and Grandchildren since her father died. She decides to take up ‘wild swimming’ with the Peacock Swimmers and one morning on the beach meets a gorgeous man in a pink shirt with whom she feels an instant connection. The alternating chapters are set 20 years earlier when Harriet finds out that her marriage isn’t as perfect as she thought when her husband has an affair, derailing her and her two children. The stories are carefully crafted, until they finally converge in a magic moment.

Amanda Prowse is one of my very favourite authors, and one of those I would most love to have around my fantasy dinner party. I know before I start reading that I will love her books.

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Another fantastic romance novel by Amanda Prowse which I thoroughly enjoyed and couldn't put down. It is set in the seaside town of Ilfracombe where Tawrie Gunn who began swimming with the Peacock Swimmers from March to September every day whatever the weather. It is a wonderful story involving the lives of Tawrie, her mum and nan who she lived with and Harriet and family and their lives. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good read.

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This was a great book. I connected with the characters. I felt engrossed with the plot. I would read another book by this author.

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Tawrie Gunn is taking a chance and facing her fears. Life is about to change in the best possible way and it was a escape of my real life to read about Tawrie. Joining Tawrie as she faces dilemmas and romance was a pleasure. A poignant and inspirational plot.

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Love all of Amanda’s previous books so was super excited to start this one….. Tawrie Gunn feels stuck. She’s spent her whole life in the same seaside town with her beloved Nana and grief-stricken mum, all of them still reeling in different ways from the tragic loss of Tawrie’s dad at sea. Desperate for a change, she challenges herself to take up wild swimming—every morning, no excuses, from March till September.
Daring to take the plunge with the ‘Peacock Swimmers’, Tawrie feels alive in a way she’s never known. Suddenly it seems she might be able to step outside her comfort zone after all and let life surprise her—perhaps even dream of a future beyond the shores of Ilfracombe? Especially when, one day, she spots a man in a pink linen shirt who seems as eager for a new start as she does.
But it turns out taking risks on land is a little different from wading into the sea. Can Tawrie face her fears head-on and find her way to happiness? She knows it’s never too late to pursue your hopes and dreams, but it might be easier said than done…
WOW! If this isn't a book to brag about I don't know what is... I started it late last night. Never did I anticipate I would be closing the book at 1am! Wonderful!

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I was drawn to this book by the title. I have always wanted to visit Lundy. I love swimming in the sea and wish that I was able to swim as often as Tawrie does.
I have visited Ilfracombe, where this book is set, several times and have even swam in the sea there. I loved reading about places that are familiar to me.
This is a dual timeline book, set in 2024 with Tawrie's story and Harret's story in 2002. I was keen to find out the connection between the two women.
I really enjoyed reading this book, the setting was lovely and I liked the characters who were realistic and had flaws.
There were difficult themes in this book, but they were dealt with sensitively. The book is very emotional in places and very sad. There are also heartwarming moments too, which balance it out.
This is a well written and lovely read. Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for my ARC.

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I really enjoyed this story. It was easy to follow along with and the characters were pleasant to read as well.

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Swimming to Lundy is a sad tale based in a charming English seaside village. I had a really hard time embracing the characters....poor communication and too many unsaid things for such a tiny village.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC for an honest review.

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Amanda Prowse is a bestselling author, writing heartwarming stories to remind us that happiness could be within reach, with a little trust and a lot of belief!
The storyline follows Tawrie who has led a sheltered life, with sadness and sacrifice. It’s time for some change, Tawrie steps out of her comfort zone, her confidence grows whilst swimming in the ocean and facing her fears.
Set in dual timelines, I enjoyed watching Tawrie grow and question her future. I loved how all of the characters learn so much about themselves, challenging their values and life goals.
A great read where clever insights and truths will be revealed!

Huge congratulations to Lake Union Publishing, NetGalley and the amazing Amanda Prowse for the opportunity to read this wonderful book.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I love books about overcoming obstacles and this novel was just that - delightful, a bit slow yet enjoyable. Def a good read for summertime.

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Amanda Prowse has been a favorite author of mine for a while. A friend once had a book signed by the author for me, and it was such a wonderful connection. Over the years, Prowse tackles tons of emotional storylines, and this one is another example of how her writing can move you to tears. The Gunn family lost a father, and it's caused ripples in their bonds. Twenty years earlier, a man had an affair and split with his wife, leaving their two children confused. In the future the families come together in a surprising way, and one woman's diary brings back the memories of what life used to be like. Definitely needed to read this one, and I recommend it for others too.

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I really liked this book. It was an emotional read but I loved it so much. I loved Tawries story. It was so good. One of the top books for summer! I enjoyed this book so much. This was such an amazing 5 star read!! A must read book!!
I just reviewed Swimming to Lundy by Amanda Prowse. #SwimmingtoLundy #NetGalley
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Swimming to Lundy provides hope and inspiration - via the story of Tawrie, we learn that it is never too late to follow your dreams and find your way back to happiness.

Tawrie feels stuck in her seaside tourist paradise where she has worked in her cousin's cafe since finishing school. To get a fresh start in life, or at least to do something different, she challenges herself to take up swimming in the sea from March till September.

With new found energy she finds she opens herself up to new opportunities, and hope is brewing insider her that there is more to life and that she's ready to embrace it.

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