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Swimming Lessons

(Beach House #2)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  12,527 ratings  ·  635 reviews
It's been five years since the original turtle lady, old Miss Lovie Rutledge, passed away, but her legacy lives on with some special women, especially Toy and her daughter, young Little Lovie.

Toy Sooner kept her graveside vow to her beloved mentor. She left behind an abusive, dysfunctional lifestyle to become a strong single mother and aquarist at the South Carolina Aquari
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by MIRA
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Clare Yes it can. I did not realize it was book two in the series... But of course you will want to read all of the series!

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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  12,527 ratings  ·  635 reviews

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Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is not a book I would have picked to read. But that’s how book club selections roll. It’s a bit too chick lit for me. Toy is a single mom of a five year old daughter, living on The Isle of Palms. She’s part of a loggerhead turtle rescue team and also works for the Charleston Aquarium. In typical chick lit fashion, you’re quickly introduced to several good looking single men.

I enjoyed learning about loggerhead turtles. In fact, I would have been happier if the book had delved more into the
Swimming Lessons by Mary Alice Monroe is a 2007 Mira publication.

As we begin this second book in the “Beach House” series, we find five years have gone by, that Cara and Brett have married and are trying to start a family, which has been a very slow and painful process.

Toy is living in the beach house with her young daughter ‘Little Lovie’, and has a great job working at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Emmi has now divorced, but is taking it very, very hard, acting very impulsively as though she
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A perfect read to ease into summertime! About family and friendship in good times and bad, and learning about the concerns regarding the Loggerhead turtles and their plight. Beautiful all around story! 4 ☆
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Did you ever read a book that you got so involved with the characters you didn't want the book to end? You felt like you could be there with them. This is the sequel to Beach House which at the time I read Beach House didn't realize there was a sequel. This book brings closure to the characters in Beach House. It's about family, family, friendship, good times, and sad times. And as a bonus you learn about nature and the low country. I think what really draws you to her books is the peacefullness ...more
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, it continued on with the stories of Toy, Little Lovie, Cara and Flo, the famous turtle savers, they all come full circle and show what true love and true friendship really is...
Jun 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Swimming Lessons, by Mary Alice Monroe seemed to be the perfect audio book to ease into summer with. I generally love most books set on the shores of lovely South Carolina, and when I read that this one included a story about the cycle of life of the Loggerhead turtles of the Isle of Palms, it had a special meaning to me.

Several years ago while on vacation, we were fortunate enough to be able to see these magnificent creatures lay their eggs along the shore. It was fascinating even though the ar
Ann-Marie "Cookie M."
A sweet summertime romantic novel in the "Beach House" series by Mary Alice Monroe. ...more
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sequel to the beach house, continuing from one character's point of view. Immediately read this after the Beach House. Wonderful book, you really want to root for the main character's success, love interest and career as biologist. What a success story for a young female character who had an abusive boyfriend in book I and was estranged from her irresponsible parents. Loved this book and looking to read many more of Monroe's books. This is about the power of female friendships and the turns life ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loaned to me by a friend who is on a mission to read all of Mary Alice Monroe's books. This is a sequel to _The Beach House_, starts with Toy Sooner and her child, now five years old, and of course with the rescue of a loggerhead turtle.
* * * * *
I really didn't want to read another book about these Turtle Ladies and their families, but once I got started, the story pulled me in and I became very involved with them. Mary Alice Monroe is a good storyteller, and I ended up enjoying this so much.
Jun 14, 2022 rated it it was amazing
The 2nd in The Beach House series. Toy rescues a sick sea turtle. She brings the loggerhead to an aquarium and starts a turtle hospital. She is a single mother and an aquarist. She spends long nights working with her boss, Ethan.

Excellent. Plan to read the entire series. I loved The low country series and am sure The Beach House series will not disappoint!
Beverly Duffy
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Nice book and very likable characters. This get in mood to be at the beach. Very informative about turtles. Love it. Want read more in the series.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love a good romance, based at the beach in South Carolina. Total sucker for that combo and usually rate the book a three out of five stars. But this book was different because it had a lot of factual information about marine life in the area - particularly loggerhead turtles - and so that earned it a four star review for me! Great beach read!! On to the last in the trilogy....
Sep 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Skimmed the first half but it finished strong!
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book!!
Linda Davidson
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
While this is a little "soppy" and perhaps more predictable than my usual reads - I loved this book!!!! I read he book, "Beach House" about 5 years ago, which I loved, and this sequel was also wonderful. I love the environmental messages and the sea turtle rescues are very interesting. I have been on Isle of Palms and also visited and continue to support the Turtle Hospital in The Keys. So -the subject resonates with me, and the author does such a good job of creating great characters, and I rea ...more
Pattie aka Grand
Oct 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I hadn’t intended to read this book, let alone the series. The first book was in the condo we purchased on the SC shore, and then a Floridian friend gifted me the last two, so I was “in for a penny, in for a pound,” after breezing through Beach House.

As an fellow SC beach person, I really loved the naturalist approach to Monroe’s books and felt I became as invested in the turtle knowledge as I did the characters.
This was one of her best books....Probably because of the turtles. Miss Monroe has proven to do extensive research on all her books and although the outcome is somewhat predicable the knowledge learned about the underlining story is always worth the time spent. I had the opportunity to meet Miss Monroe and found her as enchanting as all of her books.
Jan 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this and The Beach House so much, I bought Turtle Summer for my seven-year-old granddaughter for Christmas. Her family vacations on Topsail Island, NC and alway go to the turtle rescue center while they are there.
Jeannie Scheirman
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the sequel of Beach House, so it was interesting to find out what has happened to the characters. Toy has certainly grown, and her "Turtle Life" was interesting. Loved the Isle of Palms setting! Hope there is another sequel so we can keep up with the Turtle Ladies and Toy's life.
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure I would like this sequel to The Beach House, but once I got into it I really enjoyed learning Toy's story. It was very enjoyable to read how she went from a pregnant teenager to a responsible adult who is beginning a very good life for herself and her daughter. ...more
Liz Burkhart
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this series! I feel like I know the characters very well after finishing this second book in the series. Looking forward to more summer fun with the sea turtles!
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved it as much as the first - cant wait to continue this series.
Jul 31, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This second installment in Monroe’s “Beach House Series” was exactly the “light” summer read I needed. While I was initially disappointed that I couldn’t make this an official beach book this summer, the further I got into the story, the less it felt like a gimmicky summer-beach read and more like a character-driven story about family (real and chosen), self-reflection, and acceptance that just happened to take place on the coast of South Carolina. As usual Monroe paints a beautiful picture of t ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
What I have enjoyed about the novels of Mary Alice Monroe is her emphasis on nature. In this one, she continues the story of the turtle ladies, a team of women, often assisted by men, who strive to save the lives of the loggerhead turtles just off the coast of South Carolina. Also in this story the main character, Toy Sooner, has a chance to assist with teams observing and helping the leatherback sea turtles as they come ashore to lay eggs in Costa Rica. I enjoyed the descriptions of both kinds ...more
Catherine Faulkenburg
The best things about Mary Alice Monroe's books are the descriptions of the South Carolina Lowcountry, which happens to be one of my favorite places in the whole world. I have a child obsessed with all sorts of turtles, so I really enjoyed reading about the loggerheads and the development of the turtle hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium.

The second best part of MAM's books are her characters. They are all well written, albeit slightly non complex, but you get caught up in their hopes and dre
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Ah the magic of summer reading and beach books! How restorative to the soul!

“We have to know what we can let go of, and what to hold on to.”

“The older I get, the more I understand what my mother meant when she said that the beach house was not so much a place as a state of mind.”

I think those quotes taken together mean that we can allow ourselves to let the waves of life flow over us and around us as long as we know and can always find at our center the peace and contentment of our life well liv
Kevin Kern
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turtles, turtles and their fierce protectors on the barrier islands. This is also a family/friend saga of said protectors, with a new love story adding dimension.
I liked this better than Beach House, because it was more about saving injured turtles, as well as protecting their nests.
This is a sequel that takes place 5 years after the Beach House.
Dana Ridenour
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary Alice Monroe delivers another five star novel. An eloquently written book about love, loss, and friendship. Monroe beautifully describes the South Carolina Lowcountry in this series. Her well developed characters come to life on the pages. I loved the story and I found it interesting to learn all about the loggerhead turtles. Can't wait to start the next book in this series. ...more
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Another sweet turtle tale. An escape to the beach with friends. New love, friendship, growing old, family, balancing work and family and of course, turtles. Enjoyable read, perfect for summer reading.
Jayne Hunter
Nov 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: at-my-library
The continuation of the story of Toy, Cara, and their friends and family - a little romance, a little family drama, an enviable beach setting, and glorious sea turtles. I look forward to reading more of this series.
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Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 books, including The Summer of Lost and Found, the latest installment of her beloved Beach House series.

Monroe has also published children’s books which complement the environmental themes she is known for in her adult novels. Monroe’s middle grade series, written with Angela May, The Islanders, debuted #2 on the New York Times Best

Other books in the series

Beach House (7 books)
  • The Beach House (Beach House #1)
  • Beach House Memories (Beach House #3)
  • Beach House for Rent (Beach House #4)
  • Beach House Reunion (Beach House, #5)
  • On Ocean Boulevard (Beach House #6)
  • The Summer of Lost and Found (Beach House, #7)

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