Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Swimming Upstream by Ruth Mancini

What They Say:
'I once read that the end of a relationship is like being involved in a road traffic accident. Which is quite fitting really, given what happened.’

After seven years, Lizzie wonders whether she’s truly happy with her long-term boyfriend. When one wrong step and a chance meeting set off an unexpected chain of events, her life begins to unravel. On the same day that she meets Martin, an attractive lifeguard, her old friend, Catherine, re-appears. But is Martin really all he seems? And what is the secret that Catherine is hiding? As Lizzie struggles to confront the ghosts of her past, can she survive the shocking twist that will change the course of her future?

Swimming Upstream is a life-affirming and often humorous story about a young woman's pursuit of happiness. It is also a story of female friendship, love, and divided loyalties - and the moral choices that we find ourselves making when the chips are down.

What I Say:

I would like to that GGBooktours and Ruth Mancini for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

We first meet Lizzie when she going to the local swimming pool for a swim, although she loves the man she lives with Larson she can’t help feeling that something is missing from her life.  At the pool she bumps into Lifeguard Martin, he flirts with Lizzie, but Lizzie is unaware that Martin is engaged to her friend Catherine.


A series of events set off by Lizzie being involved in a car accident, here she bumps into Catherine and they hit it off straight away, the only spanner in the works is Martin.


We follow Lizzies journey to find happiness and inner peace, this is all set to the back drop of the early nineties, Ruth also includes in the story some of the main news events of this time as Lizzie works in a radio station, preparing the news.  I found this interesting as I was around in the early nineties and had forgotten so much had happened.


I loved Lizzies friends and how she would stand by them, even when she knew that things with them were wrong.  I liked Zara and felt really sorry for her with the issues she had.  Catherine was very naive but then again where domestic abuse is concerned a lot of woman are and blame them selves.  I really wanted Martin to get his comeuppance …..


Once I started reading I found I couldn’t put it down and I am glad the book didn’t have a central romance for Lizzie but showed her to be a strong compassionate person, who was also had her own demons to exorcise.


I wonderful book that raises awareness of sensitive issues in domestic abuse and mental health.


5 out of 5 stars


Jo xx

About The Author

I was born in South-West London and educated in Cambridge and London where I gained a bachelors degree in French and Spanish and a post-graduate diploma in Law. For several years I worked in the publishing industry before leaving my job, my relationship with my long-term partner and my home to travel and also to write the first draft of Swimming Upstream. I then put my writing career on hold for several years while I retrained as a lawyer. I have always had an interest in civil liberties and I care strongly about social justice as well as loving books and wanting to write.

I now live in Oxfordshire with my husband and our two children. I still practice as a lawyer and juggle that with writing and raising the children. My first child was born in 2002 with a severe learning disability, which means that he is also physically disabled (the two often go hand in hand) so it’s been tough! I’ve written about this - and about friendships, relationships and surviving life’s challenges generally - on my blog page if you’d like to know more.

I am an avid reader as well as a writer and author. My favourite books are women's fiction novels and psychological thrillers and I write in a similar style to the authors I enjoy: Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat, Pray, Love"), Nick Hornby ("High Fidelity" and "How to Be Good"), Blake Morrison ("The Last Weekend") and David Nicholls ("One Day"). I also loved "I Don't know How She Does it" by Allison Pearson and "A Thousand Acres" by Jane Smiley (two very different books!). My favourite book of all time is "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

Swimming Upstream is my debut novel. It has just been released with Booktrope Publishing and currently has 4.6 out of 5 stars over 55 reviews on Amazon UK and 4.1 over 83 reviews on Amazon.com.

I am now writing a sequel to Swimming Upstream.


  1. Thanks so much Jo for featuring me here and for the lovely review!

  2. This sounds like an interesting read, a serious topic, but those are needed!