When I first saw that Jess Butterworth had a new book out in April I was absolutely delighted. Having read her debut title Running on the Roof of the World I was sure that Swimming against the Storm would be an equally inspirational story and a worthy title for my bookcase at home as well as at work in my library, so I enquired with Hachette about obtaining an early copy and felt very fortunate to be accepted.
Swimming against the Storm is set in South Louisiana amongst the swamp marsh lands and along the banks of the Bayou and it transported me there with such an undeniable authenticity by vividly telling of all that is needed to know to feel emersed amongst the community living there, from the landscape and animals that thrive around them to local people’s traditions and tales.
Avery and Eliza are two young sisters that live here, growing up with the expectations of following in their parents footsteps whilst learning the skills to survive the landscape they call home and always protecting their way of life. The book follows them and their two friends on a mission to discover a creature they have grown up hearing of, the Loup garou. They are determined to find one and try to save their community from business people currently in the area.
A gripping adventure story with two strong,determined, independent female lead characters, and two equally relatable sub characters ensures this book will be a huge hit, with some edge of your seat moments and the occasional goosebumps too. At times I thought of scenes from Forrest Gump (it’s the shrimp!), recalled episodes of a survivor series I had seen on Tv, and recalled fond memories of other literary favourites of mine such as Arthur Ransomes Swallows and Amazons books I read as a child, all of which are testament to how incredibly evocative Swimming against the Storm is.
Publication date – 04.04.19
RRP – £6.99