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The Girl on the Swing by [Cooper, Ali]
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The Girl on the Swing Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Length: 302 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

From the Publisher

A stunning debut novel that draws the reader into the mind of the main character and involves them in the imaginatively-described details of her life.

About the Author

I live in rural Devon where I teach guitar and write. I have a degree in psychology and a masters in archaeology (in which I'm also published).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 720 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Standing Stone Press (23 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003IX0HBS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #258,588 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Julia Spencer has more than her fair share of troubles. Her son has died from a suspected drugs overdose. Her marriage is heading for the rocks. And she has been suspended from her job as a hospital doctor over a malpractice allegation.

Not only that, Julia is convinced that she has lived before - not just once, but several times. And in one of those past lives may be the key to understanding the events that are befalling her now and avoiding the fate of her predecessor.

The Girl on the Swing is a difficult novel to categorize - perhaps the best description would be literary mystery, though it is also a psychological novel. It is beautifully written, with an engrossing storyline and vividly drawn characters. The protagonist, Julia, is a complex but engaging individual. As a male reader, one of the things I found most intriguing about Julia was her attitude towards her remote and unsupportive husband. I found myself wondering several times how their relationship could ever have worked, and why indeed she felt the marriage was worth saving.

I was torn between giving this book four and five stars. It is not perfect. I noticed the occasional error/typo, and I felt that the ending, with revelation piled on revelation, was perhaps a little rushed. On the other hand, I note that The Girl on the Swing has been self-published by the author on a shoestring budget. Viewed in this light it is a remarkable achievement, and so I am giving it the full five.

I shall be surprised if The Girl on the Swing is not taken up by a mainstream publisher soon. In that case, I am hoping that my 'first edition' will become a valuable collector's item!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'll start off by being honest. Before now, when I thought of the words "self published" or "independent" in association with authors, I thought in a derogatory sense of people who can't get a book deal through the proper and traditional way, namely, a publishing house and resorting to their own means because basically they don't cut it. Actually that was an extremely prejudical and inaccurate view and I have been persuaded otherwise.

I picked this book up after just getting my kindle for Christmas as I wanted something reasonable but that also sounded like something I would enjoy. The girl on the swing was that book, it sounded much different from most books and at a cheap price to boot, so I bought it and what a great book it was. This book has absolutely everything that I wanted in a book which would keep me reading. A bit of romance, a lot of mystery/intrigue (not striaghtforward subject matter) and action.

The story centers around Julia who believes she has lived before, currently going through a difficult time through marital problems, the death of her son and an ensuing legal case against her, she seeks refuge in these past lives of hers that she sees through visions and then later, through regression. The characters are all fully developed, and I found Julia to be an extremely likeable character who managed to gain my sympathy for the hard hand that she had been dealt at in life.

The writing of the book was not juvenile in any sense which I would expect from most authors writing their debut novel, this was impressive and captured my attention as effectively as though Ms Cooper had been a well seasoned pro at writing books and this definitely didn't show as being a first novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A highly enjoyable, thought provoking and well written debut. Easily the best self published/independent novel (when first released) I have read on the Kindle. I will look forward to reading more from this talented new author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't always get pulled into novels that are written in the present tense: it seems, at times, to be a clumsy device that can - deliberately or otherwise - break down the fourth wall and leave one feeling unconvinced by the character or the narrative. However, in this case it works beautifully and in fact, it adds to the structure of the story. The present tense highlights the fact that much of the tale is set in the past as the main character, Julia, experiences 'flashbacks' (and at one point a 'flash-forward'). It is not just backfill, however - the writer seems to be suggesting that the past, present and future can exist at the same time, on the same plane. As this is an interest of mine, I found Ms Cooper's handling of the subject to be knowledgeable and informative.

The main story, however, is set very much in the present as Julia tries, on a daily basis, to confront what seems to her a pointless existence, with the recent loss of her son, an impending lawsuit for medical malpractice and a marriage that is growing colder and more distant by the day. What makes this character work for me is that there is real psychological depth as she seems, to me at least, to conform to a certain 'type' who responds to situations exactly as you would expect her to respond. The character is convincing and even recognisable as someone whom I am sure most of us have met in the course of our lives. She is overwhelmed with grief and anger and, in despair, she turns away from her partner and her friends and seeks to make sense of her world in an unconventional way. And who can blame her?

I mentioned in the title of this review that the book is informative and indeed it is - the writer seems to have many interests just as Julia herself does. She touches on areas as diverse as archaeology, psychology and medicine as well as, of course, reincarnation. Ms Cooper writes with conviction, pace and sensitivity and I look forward to reading her forthcoming new book.
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