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The Art of Drowning

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Rachel Doe is a shy accountant at a low ebb in life when she meets charismatic Ivy Schneider, nee Wiseman, at her evening class and her life changes for the better. Ivy is her polar oppositte: strong, six years her senior and the romantic survivor of drug addiction, homelessness and the death of her child. Ivy does menial shift work, beholden to no one, and she inspires li ...more
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published 2006 by Little Brown
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Tony Snyder
Amazing! Deft characterization and an effortless flow conspire to make this an entrancing mystery! This book clinches it...I'll be reading all of Fyfield's books!
Atmospheric, psychological thriller that had me questioning motives and appearances the whole way through. The story of newly single accountant Rachel Doe and her new friendship with Ivy who she meets at a life drawing class is superbly put together. Ivy is everything Rachel is not. She is a survivor who seems to know how to make the best of what life has to offer. She opens up a new world for Rachel and even Ivy's family adopt her. Their farm proves a haven for Rachel, though there are hints of ...more
Marina Sofia
As so many other reviewers have said, it's a much slower-paced book than most modern psychological thrillers, although I enjoyed the characterisation and descriptions. However, it was rather predictable, our antennae were pricked early on and it was all a matter of time until our main protagonist came to the same realisation. A matter of rather lengthy time, as she seemed so determined to believe the best of everybody.
What I liked best were the descriptions of farming life and how it has changed
Kate Larkin
Definitely enjoyed the second half of this way more than the first; the lives of Rachel, Ivy, Grace, Ernest, Carl, Sam and Donald will all be inevitably intertwined. The reader gets that vibe about halfway through. The first half is pretty SLOW to move. There are several flashbacks and descriptions, while well-written, confuse and baffle the reader. This made me more curious to keep reading -- but I can see where it's frustrating. All in all, if you can make it to the end, it's worth reading. My ...more
Rachel Doe needs to sort out her life. She's had such a sheltered, cautious existence; an accountant, only daughter of very timid parents, the only really daring thing she has done in her life was to dob in her lover - a liar and thief. All she got for her efforts was suspicion and a greater sense of loneliness and isolation than she had ever had before.

When Rachel meets Ivy she's totally captivated and they soon become involved in a very intense, platonic friendship which surprises everyone. Iv
Written for Say What! Savannah Mae

“The Art of Drowning” is a gripping thriller by Frances Fyfield that takes place in London, England. When Rachel Doe meets Ivy Wiseman her world will never be the same.

The two strike up a mutually enchanted friendship and become inseparable in spite of the fact that they are complete opposites. Rachel is a socially awkward and sheltered accountant that “lives by the rules”. Ivy is a free-spirit – she’s full of life, does what she wants and is beholden to no one
Bill Kupersmith
I love Fyfield at her best but this book really disappointed me altho' one of the characters seemed almost as likeable as Diana in Gold Digger. The writing felt off - many clichés & a couple of minor howlers - & after 2/3 we already know who did the killings and the story turns into a damsel-in-distress thriller complete with immersion in porcine body wastes! The first murder (not a spoiler - it's narrated in the prologue) is one of those fascinating cases in which the victim is lured in ...more
Twin Opinions
This book was long and hard to read in the beginning. Had the beginning not been so drawn out I would have rated this book much better in my opinion. Once I got about half way through though I was hooked.

The mystery part was good but it was lacking good suspense until the end. After the halfway point I was enjoying the characters and the story itself. At that point I was desperate to know what would happen. The ending was ok.

I would have preferred a more definite ending after all that happened
Franziska Self fisken
I really enjoyed this book. In fact I found it unusual, absorbing and mesmerising. A powerful tale with intriguing characters. I finished it late last night and have been reflecting on it all day.
Initially when I started this book I was intrigued and I was expecting to love it. The writing style was very beautiful and almost poetic. However, as the pages went on, the plot did not. It was overly detailed and there were excessive descriptions of situations that really had nothing to do with the story and nothing was really happening in the story. The words were beautiful and the details and descriptions would have really made it a great read if the story was moving along, but there was abs ...more
Sharon Jones
The began as a very puzzling book with the first two chapters devoted to incidents that were not explained until almost the end. It was a mystery and not a mystery as the crime was being plotted while one was reading and then you were not sure of what the crime would be until almost the end! Some chapters were devoted, again, to incidents involving people that were unexplained. It took a while before their relevance became clear.
So, it was a difficult book at the commencement to follow but as it
Ambigu en diable, avec une chute inattendue.
Maria Ascanio
I was a bit bored with it.
This book was way too slow to move along for me. As I kept reading all I kept thinking was 'can something please happen soon?' and it never really did. The ending was even really predictable in my opinion. This book definitely had the potential to be a really good psychological thriller, but unfortunately fell completely short in the way it was delivered.
Stayci Blea
This book took me FOREVER to read because it starts so slow. I'm a slow reader as it is, so it was hard to get into this book. I kept going because of all the good reviews it got, and I'm glad I did. It ended much better than it started. All in all, I'm glad I read it, but frustrated it took so long to get me drawn in.
two and a half stars very confusing first couple chapters but got better. weird story
This was an amazing read. Fyfield so adeptly built up the sense of unease bit by bit, which was so effective.

One I'd certainly recommend and I am now looking to get hold of other of her titles.
Typical Fyfield - caught me from the first page

One of her best so far - can't put it down......

I highly recommend, and will be reading more of her novels!
As soon as I read past the first few pages I realised that I've read this before - however I don't remember the plot!
Karen wadey
Bit arty farty and confusing at the beginning, but turned into a good, gripping thriller by the end.
I've always thought this author is outstanding and even used to collect her American editions.
Fyfield is underappreciated I think and quite often very very rewarding.
Shirley Campbell
A real page turner
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Aka Frances Hegarty.

Frances Fyfield is a criminal lawyer, who lives in London and in Deal, by the sea which is her passion. She has won several awards, including the CWA Silver Dagger.
More about Frances Fyfield...
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