Shelf Control #152: Swimming Home by Mary-Rose MacColl

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!


Title: Swimming Home
Author: Mary-Rose MacColl
Published: 2015
Length: 432 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

From the author of the international bestseller In Falling Snow. In 1925, a young woman swimmer will defy the odds to swim the English Channel–a chance to make history. 

London 1925: Fifteen-year-old Catherine Quick longs to feel once more the warm waters of her home, to strike out into the ocean off the Torres Strait Islands in Australia and swim, as she’s done since she was a child. But now, orphaned and living with her aunt Louisa in London, Catherine feels that everything she values has been stripped away from her.

Louisa, a London surgeon who fought boldly for equality for women, holds strict views on the behavior of her young niece. She wants Catherine to pursue an education, just as she herself did. Catherine is rebellious, and Louisa finds it difficult to block painful memories from her past. It takes the enigmatic American banker Manfred Lear Black to convince Louisa to bring Catherine to New York where Catherine can train to become the first woman to swim the English Channel. And finally, Louisa begins to listen to what her own heart tells her.

How and when I got it:

I bought it back in 2015, right after finishing another book by this author.

Why I want to read it:

My book group read In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl in 2015, and I was really captivated by the subject matter — women staffing a field hospital during World War I. Swimming Home sounds like yet another great woman-centric historical novel. Reading about a pioneering female swimmer really appeals to me!

What do you think? Would you read this book?


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!














14 thoughts on “Shelf Control #152: Swimming Home by Mary-Rose MacColl

  1. Ooh this sounds really interesting! This month I read a non-fiction book for work that you might really like – In the Wake of Mercedes Gleitze by Doloranda Pember. It’s a biography of the first British woman to swim the English Channel (and she was also the first person to swim the Strait of Gibraltar!) and the author is her own daughter. 🙂 Definitely recommend checking it out and I hope you enjoy this novel when you get to it!

  2. I always look forward to your shelf control posts! I appreciate the introduction to books a few (or more!) years old. I’m curious about your stats, out of the 152 books you’ve written about, how many have you read since starting the project? And how many have you ended up donating/selling (i.e. deciding not to read afterall)?

    • Oh my, that is a dangerous question! I really should do a stats related post for my Shelf Control books. I do know that most of the books I’ve featured are still sitting on my shelf, unread — but there are some I’ve made a point of reading, and some that I’ve discarded/donated as well. Thanks for asking — I’ll have to spend some time figuring this out!

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