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Swimming at Night

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  5,822 ratings  ·  751 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)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,822 ratings  ·  751 reviews

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Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Received this book from Simon &Schuster, Inc.

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

As the book begins, older sister Kate receives news that her younger sister, Mia has been found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Bali. The sisters had very little communication since the day Mia suddenly announced that she was going on a trip around the world. This trip appeared to come out of the blue with Mia convincing her best friend
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Though I found it difficult to put this book down, I was a little frustrated with the ending. There was just so much build-up and the resolution felt fairly predictable and unspectacular when it came. I also disliked Mia throughout the story, though I definitely sympathized with the character of Katie. All in all, I liked the illustration of the complexities in sisters' relationships and the build-up of the plot. I also thought the characters were well drawn out, even if I didn't connec
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
Abi Seddon
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013books
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 –
Beginning: 2 stars
Middle: 3 stars
End: 4 stars

Average: 3 stars

This book started off with a whimper, not a bang. Coming off of reading Dave Eggers' wonderfully quirky and affecting Heroes of the Frontier, landing in Lucy Clarke's world of Londoners was jarring to say the least. However, once I got past the first 60 or so pages, and Katie - journal in hand - was on her way to California, the book started to improve chapter by chapter. Soon I was caught up in the broken timeline as Katie chased her
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star
A beautifully written story about the bond between sisters and the secrets they keep to protect one another. Clarke creates two very realistic sisters, Katie and Mia, who are different in almost every single way. Katie, the older sister, is beautiful, ambitious and living a very straight-edged lifestyle. She has a loving fiance, a good job and knows exactly what she wants. Her younger sister Mia is aloof, spontaneous and feels as if she is living in her older sisters shadow. One day, she decides ...more
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
Jun 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-audible
Very well written novel about siblings...always an intriguing theme for me.
Women's Fiction / Travel / Sisters

The Sea Sisters is a fictional story about two sisters, Katie and Mia. They were raised by their mother after their father left the family when the girls were still very young. Mia has always been wild, independant, drifting through life. Her older sister, Katie, sensible, popular, successful and down to earth.

After their mother dies of cancer, Mia feels even more restless. She want to find her father and finally understand who she really is. So one day she jus
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sam Blake
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nikki Mcgee
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 waist. The sex scenes are bland and seem to always involve licking! There is no depth to the characters and the endi
Deborah Pickstone
This did not engage me. It was ok writing but I found it hard to take the characters seriously though Finn was rather sweet. It wasn't bad enough to give 2 stars, just kind of boring and very light. ...more
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
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
Lydia Laceby
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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
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
Debi G.
May 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: abroad, disappointing
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
I really wanted this to be a 4 star book, as I've been looking forward to reading it for ages, but it didn't quite match up to my expectations, so I'm giving it 3 stars.

My reasons for the lower rating are that I found Mia to be too selfish to really relate to or feel sorry for. I also had huge issues with the slow journal reading. I know there was a supposed explanation for this near the end of the book and without the daily snippets of journal reading this novel wouldn't exist. But as I have t
A good & engrossing read but somehow feel it fell short if its potential. The story focuses on the relationship between two sisters, Katie the "good sister & perfect daughter" & Mia an independent free spirit, who at the drop of a hat takes off to the other side of the world to go travelling, where she dies under mysterious circumstances. Katie on finding her sisters journal decides to copy Mia's journey & discover the truth behind her death. An interesting basis for a story if not wholly origin ...more
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-read
There are so many things I love about this book. I love how fast-paced it is and how, because of the suspense in it, I've managed to finish reading it in a matter of less than two days' time; I love how it is narrated using the third person narration with Katie and Mia's perspectives alternating between the chapters and how Clarke has managed to make it flow brilliantly and I love the crafty sentences and poetic language used. Apart from that, the themes of love, hatred, jealousy and betrayal am ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2017
This was captivating enough, if not a bit long-winded at times. I much preferred Mia's chapters, even though I could feel and understand Katie's grief and actions in hers. The male characters were, as a whole, meh. I wasn't totally sold on the conclusion and its reveals, but the ultimate answer to "what happened" wasn't the sole purpose of this book, so I wasn't too bothered. The family dynamics were really nicely done and, yeah, read this book for the sisters and not for the men or the mystery. ...more
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-tbr, 2015-a-to-z
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.
Carol Preston
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 18, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
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Lucy Clarke is the bestselling author of six psychological thrillers - THE SEA SISTERS, A SINGLE BREATH, THE BLUE/NO ESCAPE, LAST SEEN, YOU LET ME IN and THE CASTAWAYS. Her debut novel was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and her books have been sold in over 20 territories.

Lucy is a passionate traveller, beach hut dweller, and fresh air enthusiast. She's married to a professional windsurfer and,

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