The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Print and Audio ARCs from Netgalley
| Story Review |
The Night Swim from Megan Goldin was on my radar from the moment I read the blurb. Much like everyone else these days, I really enjoy a podcast component, and I like the sleuthing that goes on with this one. And I particularly liked that it was a woman here doing the digging. There was so much going on in this book that I don’t even know where to start, and I mean that in the best way possible. This story focuses on two timelines – a current rape trial, and the mysterious drowning of a woman decades prior. We see the current timeline from Rachel’s point of view as she follows the case and updates her podcast, and the past is relayed from Hannah, the sister of the woman who died years before, as she communicates with Rachel via letters. I liked Rachel as the main focus of this story. I like that she tried to be neutral when it came to interviewing parties of both sides involved, but thought it was only natural that she’d gravitate towards the young woman. And I really like how, as the trial progresses and assault is examined, that she reflects on things that have happened to her in the past that could be considered assault even though she didn’t see it that way at the time. I thought it added another element to the story, and it really made me, as the reader, think of past instances where I felt the same. I found Rachel to be so relatable. Hannah was our other main character, and honestly, my heart broke for Hannah, Jenny, and their mother throughout this story. What Jenny went through, how it went beyond bullying and catapulted straight into taunting and terrorizing absolutely gutted me. Even though I knew what was going to happen to her, I kept hoping she was going to make it.
For me, it really was about the way the author made me care about these characters. That’s what made me love this story so so much. Yes, there were twists and turns here, yes, there were close calls, and yes, there were times when I thought I knew what was going on only to realize I didn’t. But those were the backdrop for these vivid characters for me. In fact, if I had a niggle about the story, it would be that while I cared about what was going on in the present day, my heart was lost to the events of the past. I clearly had a storyline that gripped me more. And also, we never did find out how Hannah knew who Rachel was even though Rachel had done her best not to have pictures of herself available to possible fans or fanatics. But in the end, those things just didn’t matter much to me when the telling of this story outshone them.
I think it’s obvious how much I loved this story. It was so relevant to what’s going on today, and I was gripped throughout the entire thing. I’m calling it now – The Night Swim is going to be one of my favorite books of 2020.
| Narration Review |
The audio of this book was performed by Bailey Carr, January LaVoy, and Samantha Desz. Honestly, if I had to pick a favorite out of the three, I don’t think I could. I think they all did such a great job with the parts they read. They really complemented each other, and I like that the tone of the story changes with each narrator, because it should. That we aren’t having one person read all the parts means we have three different people interpreting, and it makes each part more vivid and for me, the change of narrator jogged a change of imagery, and it made it that much more lifelike. There couldn’t have been a better audio cast for The Night Swim.
| Overall Rating |