There are sometimes books that I read or listen to that do not fit nicely into any genre. These two are a couple of them. They have some Women’s Fiction components, a bit of a mystery, and some romance. These are the ones I often refer to as Literary Fiction, although many will disagree. Both of these books were provided to me by the publisher upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim (Yorkshire Escape #2) by Jules Wake, Laura Brydon (Narrator)

Published April 30th 2022 by HarperCollins UK Audio, One More Chapter

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim is the second book in the Yorkshire Escape series, but it can definitely be read as a standalone. I enjoyed this story so much, I will definitely be reading or listening to the first one, Saturday Morning Park Run. Ettie has had quite a colorful employment history, and is hoping that this new job is the one for her. With her mother’s ill health, she has to find a job she likes or end up working in a factory. She has been hired to do general jobs at a Yorkshire estate that is being turned into a hotel. She will be working with Gracie, the mother of the owner’s best friend, who is deceased. Dominic has some baggage and hurt, so he is hard to get to know, but Ettie is so energetic, fresh, full of great ideas, and caring that she begins to wear Dominic down. She loves her job, but doesn’t think Gracie’s and Dominic’s hearts are really into it. As she and Dominic get closer, the secret she is keeping from him gets harder all the time. He does not want anyone swimming in the lake on the property, but she has not only been swimming herself, but helping keep Dominic away so others can swim as well. She knows very well that Dominic was betrayed in love once and has trust issues, but they are falling in love. Will this secret ruin their budding relationship?

This was a great story of friendship, trust, supporting one another, and community. Ettie is such a great character. She is a free spirit, a breath of fresh air, one of those people I would love to get to know. She is loving, caring, smart, loyal and even though she kept this huge secret, she is trustworthy. Dominic was a grumpy, handsome character. He wanted NO wild swimming in his lake and part of the story is the mystery as to why he felt this way. He was retired military who was dealing with an injury her received during his tour of duty. Gracie is the mother of one of Dominic’s brothers in arms who was killed, and Dominic feels responsible for her. She does not have her heart in the project, but she does want Dominic and Ettie to get together, so uses her energies for that. The local community members who are wild swimmers add a lot of colour to the story, especially Ettie’s eccentric grandfather. There is a teenager who is an amputee, one who loves to swim but does not want to swim in a pool to be gawked at, and the group comes together to raise funds for him to train for the Paralympics. Add in a disobedient dog and you know there is going to be some humorous situations. This book has it all; romance, friendship, community, humour, grief, acceptance, and more. I definitely recommend The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim by Jules Wake. The audiobook was wonderful to listen to. Laura Brydon does a wonderful job with the narration adding expression, tone and emotion to give voice to the characters. She added much to my enjoyment of this story.

It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler, Barrie Kreinik (Narrator)

Published June 7th 2022 by St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan Audio

3.5 Stars:

It All Comes Down to This is a story of three sisters, who come together after the death of their mother. They have secrets, emotional baggage and family issues that all come to a head when they try to decide if they are going to sell the family’s summer cottage on Mount Desert Island, Maine as their mother directed in her will. All this happens while they deal with their grief at the loss of their mom. Beck, the oldest lives closest to the the cottage and her mother. She spent the most time with her and wants to buy the place from her sisters, but there are problems in her marriage that cause her to make some questionable decisions. Sophie, the youngest works at a gallery and is an influencer, who has money problems and wants the cottage sold. Claire is the middle sister, a doctor, a divorcee and single mother who lives in the midwest. They do talk often, but they have not been together at the cottage since Claire left for school. Will they be able to figure out what they really want out of life?

I am on the fence with this book. There were times that I was stopping everything to listen to the story as I was invested in what was happening, and other times where I found my mind wandering. The characters were likable, but they didn’t pull at me, except for Ollie, the young boy staying with his grandma after his parents died. He was sweet and I wanted to bring him home to take care of him. CJ was on the island looking for a house to start over. He had recently been released from prison after three years and just wanted to get back to his art. He develops a relationship with Ollie that is special and I liked seeing the young boy’s happiness. How he fits in with the sister’s story is interesting having some history with them. Someone described this as a “Messy Family Drama” and I agree. The sisters were all so different from one another, you have to wonder if they were raised in the same family. A couple of the secrets were kept until the very end, and I was surprised at what they were when finally revealed. This is a story of family, loyalty, grief, self-discovery, love, moving forward and some romance. I found it realistic most of the time, and enjoyed how Therese Anne Fowler ended this one, with everyone moving forward with their lives in a better place than they were before. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Barrie Kreinik, a narrator that I very much enjoy. She does a great job with all the voices and I always identified who was speaking. I do recommend the audio and believe it added to my enjoyment of the story.