Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Swimming at Night” as Want to Read:
Swimming at Night
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Swimming at Night

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  3,050 ratings  ·  522 reviews
People go traveling for two reasons: because they are searching for something, or they are running from something.

Katie’s world is shattered by the news that her headstrong and bohemian younger sister, Mia, has been found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Bali. The authorities say that Mia jumped—that her death was a suicide.

Although they’d hardly spoken to each other sin
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Touchstone (first published October 8th 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Swimming at Night, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Swimming at Night

90 Miles to Freedom by K.C. HiltonThe Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. HeinleinFour Past Midnight by Stephen King2001 by Arthur C. ClarkeA Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
Night Sky
67th out of 250 books — 42 voters
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertWild by Cheryl StrayedThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer
152nd out of 517 books — 651 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This book was incredible. Absolutely incredible. This is one of those books that will stay with you. It is definitely going to stay with me. The emotion was so intense and the feeling of regret always there throughout the whole story. The way this story came together was both heartbreaking and hopeful. This is a must read.
Despite being written by a British author, The Sea Sisters was first published in the US, where it was given a more elegant title - Swimming at Night - and a mysterious, minimalist cover indicative of literary fiction. I'm mentioning this because had I not seen the American edition first, I probably wouldn't have wanted to read this book: the UK title and cover evoke images of some chick-lit/fantasy hybrid in which the sisters turn out to be secret mermaids or something. The book is actually nei ...more
Abi Seddon
I loved this book! It had me gripped from the first to the very last page and I was genuinely sad to reach the end. Clarke expertly captures two themes very close to my heart - travel and the bond between sisters - but with a story rich in mystery and suspense. It might sound trite to say, but it felt as if the book was written for me I was so thoroughly lost within its pages. A fantastic read!
In the end this book gave me goosebumps. Absolutely loved the narrative, one sibling's literal stepping into the shoes of the other sibling to figure out the whys.

Poignant love of siblings, the friendships, the attractions, human need for closure and absolution of guilt..all woven together into a captivating story.
I'm pretty conflicted on this book. Initially I enjoyed the premise: Mia sets off traveling after the death of her mother and dies whilst in Bali, a country that was never on her original route. The authorities tell her sister Katie, her only remaining family, that she committed suicide but her sister knows this cant be true and tries to retrace her steps using Mia's travel journal to uncover what really happened.

At first I didn't like any of the characters and I was really hoping that it would
From the noisy pubs of London and the sun-soaked beaches of Hawaii to the jagged cliffs of Bali, Swimming at Night is a captivating, page-turning debut novel of love, family secrets, and an around-the-world trip that forever changes the lives of two sisters.

Sisters Mia and Kate couldn’t be more different—and when Mia spontaneously decides to backpack around the world after their mother’s death, Kate can do little to stop her headstrong younger sister from leaving London. Kate hasn’t heard from M
There are some currents in the relationship between sisters that run so dark and so deep, it’s better for the people swimming on the surface never to know what’s beneath . . .

Katie’s carefully structured world is shattered by the news that her headstrong younger sister, Mia, has been found dead in Bali – and the police claim it was suicide.

With only the entries of Mia’s travel journal as her guide, Katie retraces the last few months of her sister’s life, and – page by page, country by country –
Katie and Mia are sisters that couldn't be more opposite than one another. Katie, the elder sister, responsible, care taker, and always there when you need her. Mia, the carefree, wilder younger sister heads on a multi country vacation going from coast to coast, hostel to hostel; until she ends up at the bottom of a cliff in Bali.

Katie is determined to find out what happened to her sister, and doesn't really believe that Mia threw herself over the edge of the cliff. Swimming at Night carefully n
Very well written novel about siblings...always an intriguing theme for me.
Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin
I absolutely loved this book, the characters are still lingering in my head.

The story focuses on sisters Mia and Katie – Mia has gone travelling, and Katie’s world is shattered by the news that her headstrong and bohemian younger sister has been found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Bali. The authorities say that Mia jumped—that her death was a suicide.

Katie refuses to accept that her sister would have taken her own life, so she leaves behind her orderly, sheltered life in London and embarks on
Katie is awaken by knocking on her door. It is the police. They inform Katie that her sisiter, Mia has committed suicide. She jumped off a cliff. At first Katie does not beleive that Mia would take her own life but then Katie tries to make sense of it all. Katie decides to travel in Mia's footsteps. Armed with Mia's jouranal, Katie takes a life-changing journey that will bring her closer to Mia then ever before.

Swimming at Night is a breath of fresh air. This book is like swimming at night bene
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

ARC from NetGalley – Thank you NetGalley : )

Katie and Mia are polar opposites, but growing up they were also as close as two sisters could possibly be. Now adults, they have grown apart. Katie has maintained her status as the responsible one and Mia her free-spirit counterpart. When Mia decides to quit her job and travel around the world with her best friend Katie is disappointed, but not terribly surprised. One thing she did not expec
Minty McBunny
This book was breathtaking. It goes with All The Light We Cannot See at the top of the list of the most lovely and moving books I have read this year.

As an only child, sibling relationships fascinate me. This novel explores them in a heartbreakingly poetic way. It is a story filled with twists, but they are smoothly done, like the turns of a kaleidoscope as opposed to the jarring jolts of a roller coaster ride.

I was moved to tears several times, but never felt like my emotions were being manip
Rezension PiMi:

Katies Welt gerät aus den Fugen, als sie mitten in der Nacht vom Tod ihrer Schwester Mia erfährt. Auf Bali ist diese von den Klippen gestürzt und es deutet alles auf Selbstmord hin. Katie will das nicht glauben, warum sollte ihre lebensfrohe kleine Schwester Selbstmord begehen? Und warum ist sie auf Bali gewesen? Sie sollte doch mit Finn in Australien sein. Mias Reisetagebuch, das sie mit auf ihre Weltreise genommen hat, ist alles was Katie nun noch bleibt, um den Tod ihrer Schwes
Lydia Laceby

Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

Rated 4.5 Star

I loved this novel. Full of intrigue and mystery, Swimming at Night is really a love story between sisters and contains a deep exploration of the love, jealousy, and sometimes hate that the bond between sisters can have. This one kept me flipping late into the night, right up to the last pages and should not be missed, particularly if you love a suspenseful novel.

As deeply flawed and confused as they all were, I loved all the characters. Both Ka
Katie and Mia are sisters and they are complete opposites. Katie is organised and responsible, while Mia doesn't last 5 minutes in a job and is very highly strung. They have been raised by their mother after their father left when they were very young. After their mother dies of cancer, Mia spontaneously decides to take a trip around the world with her best friend, Finn. Several months later, after only very sporadic contact from Mia, Katie is woken by a knock on the door in the middle of the ni ...more
A story of discovery. Katie sets out looking for answers in her sister Mia's death by experiencing every entry in her travel journal that documented her final months of life. Was Mia's death a suicide? This is what Katie feels she needs to find out. I fell in love with the complexity of each character. Katie for her strength, Mia for her sense of adventure, Finn for his never ending love, and Noah for his daily struggle over the death of his brother.

This book captivated me from the start. Not o
Carol Preston
Loved this story as much as Lucy Clarke's other novel, A Single Breath. A great insight into the relationship between sisters as the story follows Katie's journey to discover what was happening in her sister, Mia's, last days. Retracing Mia's travels, country by country, Katie discovers as much about herself as her sister, and uncovers truths which shake her world. Great mystery, romance, intrigue. The characters are written with passion and depth. Recommended.
Nikki Mcgee
This is fluff, reading that requires no thought and sometimes that is not a bad thing. However this was a little like eating a McDonalds, quick, not particularly satisfying and leaves you wishing you had made a better choice.

The writing is not great, she uses the same phrases again and again, I lost count of the number of times someone woke up with their dress twisted around their waste. The sex scenes are bland and seem to always involve licking! There is no depth to the characters and the endi
I often considered abandoning this book during the first 100 pages, but decided I was invested in finding answers to the plot's questions. Believable answers to these questions, and to unforeseen complications, are delivered by the end. My reading difficulties have to do with the way the excitement of travel gets muted by the listlessness of grief, how the characters feel undeveloped, and how the tale is structured; the journal acts as a limiter, yet the narrative extends beyond what can be kno ...more
Marguerite Kaye
I'd say this was a high 3 rather than a 4 for me. I raced through it. I loved the premise. I cried a bit. I laughed a bit. Like the other book of Lucy Clarke's I read recently, the scene scetting is fantastic. The author travels a lot, and she uses her own travel notes in her descriptions of Mia and Katie's journey, which really brings the various places to life. In this, she is excellent. She's also great at coming up with a premise for a story that really pulls you in from the start. Troubled ...more
This was such an amazing book! The loss of someone close to you can leave questions unanswered. The real question is, how far would you go to have those questions answered? Katie goes on a journey by following the path her late sister, Mia, took during the last months of her life. During this time, Katie not only receives confirmation of the event, but also learns things she never knew about her sister and herself. This is a great story of strength, courage,love and loss.
Diane S ❄
Some wonderful locations such as Hawaii, and Bali are visited in this novel. This was a good read, well written but just a little too predictable. Never really warmed up to the characters either. Not sure why, they were okay just never really connected to them.
Megan S
4.5! I am not entirely sure what it is that made me love this book. I think it was how easy it was to connect to the characters. also the descriptions of traveling and the ocean, something that I love as much as Katie and Mia
Lucy Catten
So first up is this gem of a debut novel by Lucy Clarke. I came to read this after hearing and reading about it so many times that the recommendations reached a kind of critical mass in my brain. This is very often how I read these days; rather than spontaneously choosing something that has a great blurb, I’m tending to choose things I’ve heard about numerous times through a combination of my regular podcasts (the subject of another blog post I think!), reviews via twitter or Writer’s Forum maga ...more
Laura Simpson
I didn't know what to expect from this book, but something made me instinctually pick it up. After reading the blurb, I literally had no idea where this book would take me. After starting reading this book I was hooked, something deep down made me want to just keep devouring the book, much in the way Katie does to parts of Mia's journal. The author took us on a journey with the characters, we were in Maui, Australia, Cornwall and Bali. The authors own experience of her travels to these places ma ...more
Luanne Ollivier

"People go travelling for two reasons: because they are searching for something, or they are running from something."

That quote is an excellent introduction to Lucy Clarke's novel - Swimming at Night.

The opening pages introduce us to Katie - who has just received news that her younger sister Mia is dead. Mia took off six months ago to travel the world. The police say she committed suicide in Bali, but Katie cannot accept that verdict. When the police return Mia's backpack, Katie discovers Mia'
Daisy Chain Books
An accomplished debut that delves deep into the secrets of sisterhood, Swimming at Night by Lucy Clarke combines compelling storytelling with exotic locations for a truly page-turning read

Katie hasn’t spoken to her younger sister Mia in months when she learns that Mia has died in Bali. The verdict, according to the police, is suicide. But Katie instinctively knows that’s not true. Sure, Mia was wildly irresponsible and prone to doing the extreme in life –after all, she embarked on a round-the-wo
Nicole Deyarmond
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: L.C. 1 9 Jul 07, 2015 01:44PM  
  • The Sea Change
  • After the Fall
  • This is How it Ends
  • Paper Chains
  • The Secrets Between Us
  • Secrets of the Tides
  • Someone to Watch Over Me
  • What Have I Done? (No Greater Love #2)
  • A Commonplace Killing
  • The Runaway Wife
  • Yesterday's Sun
  • Heartbreak Hotel
  • Die wundersame Geschichte der Faye Archer
  • Never Coming Back (David Raker, #4)
  • The Twins
  • Rage Against the Dying (Brigid Quinn, #1)
  • Natural Causes (Inspector McLean, #1)
  • The Second Life of Amy Archer
Lucy Clarke is a novelist, traveller, and fresh air enthusiast. She has a first class degree in English Literature, and has worked as a presenter of social enterprise events and creative writing workshops. Lucy is married to James Cox, a professional windsurfer, and together they spend their winters travelling and their summers at their home on the south coast of England.

Lucy Clarke is the author
More about Lucy Clarke...

Share This Book