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The Third Swimmer    by Rosalind Brackenbury order for
Third Swimmer
by Rosalind Brackenbury
Order:  USA  Can
Daniel & Daniel, 2016 (2016)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

As war looms in Europe in 1939, Olivia is having an affair with her boss. Aware that he will not leave his wife, she welcomes the attentions of another Thomas, a brilliant architect. She decides to marry Thomas. Olivia wants a future. She wants children.

They both survive the war and do have those children. Thomas decides that he wants to take Olivia to Cassis in France, to enjoy time with just his wife. She obliges him but can't stop thinking of the children she has left behind. Did Thomas and she ever really know each other? This is on her mind as well. Thomas seems cold and she never feels they are truly a couple. Thomas also is conscious of the space between them.

The author's take on the aftermath of the war is touchingly written and brings home the fact that war's cessation is not the end of very trying times.

The impossible happens on this their second honeymoon when a girl is drowning and Thomas puts himself in danger to swim to the rescue. Olivia can't believe that he would impulsively face death in an attempt to rescue someone he doesn't even know. Leave her and their children without a husband and father. But the outcome of this brave act brings the two closer than they have ever been. They learn what real love and concern for the other partner is and that being able to communicate their feelings is paramount in any marriage.

Author Rosalind Brackenbury discovered a newspaper after her father's death that hailed him as a hero in the rescue of a woman drowning off the coast of Cassis in 1952. It took her fifteen years to write the story, which haunted her for all that time. The Third Swimmer is the sixth of her novels. She has also written three books of poetry.

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