Learning To Swim – KJ

So. Four years ago, I left my dream job. It didn’t happen quietly. I crashed and burned. It was right after the attacks of November 2015 in Paris and Saint-Denis, but only had a little to do with that (I wrote about it at the time). Most of it was due to exhaustion, in part from job burnout and in part from dyspraxia and anxiety, although I didn’t know that at the time. So of course reading about Andrea’s struggles, I could relate, despite huge differences in our situations. First of all, I never made tons of money (I wish!). The main difference, however, is that I was already in a committed relationship when it happened, which is probably why I managed to get back on my feet – to some extent – but also to fall in the first place. I’m pretty sure it’s also why I’m still alive. Not that I ever had suicidal thoughts, it was more an instance of life killing me slowly from the inside.

Anyway. Back to the book. Lauren, Hanna and Andrea have been best friends for six years. They have very different personalities: Hanna is sweet and kinda awkward, Lauren is laidback and happy with life, and Andrea is a workaholic. Lauren is in love with Andrea, resigned to that love being unrequited forever, but then, pretty early in the story, Andrea finally realizes what Lauren means to her. That epiphany (and her mother’s psychotic break) makes her reevaluate her life and her priorities.

Despite the last sentence of the blurb, this is not a romance (and I’d like to thank Alexis and her review for pointing that out, which allowed me to chose the right moment – when I was in the right headspace – to read this book and appreciate it fully). There is definitely a romantic element, and it’s pretty sexy too, but more than people falling in love, this book is about finding yourself, loving yourself so that you can then love and be loved. It’s about taking charge of your life and taking care of yourself.

KJ writes beautifully and even with such a sensitive topic as mental health (since that’s what it is), she manages to instill some measure of joy and a lot of optimism.

4-stars

Learning To Swim @ amazon

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