Book Review: The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton

Five Stars – A Quiet Novel with Undercurrents

Thornton takes on bigotry, racism, and ignorance with her elegantly written coming of age novel.  The setting is the American South in the late 1950s.  The main character, Gabriella Winter, daughter of a Marine Corps General, learns to swim with the help of the General’s aid, also a Marine but of a different race.

Through well developed main characters and a poignant reminder of the attitudes of those years projected through the behaviors of the minor characters, Thornton brings the reader back to a time when equality among citizens was nonexistent.  The novel’s description suggests a military family experience as one of the main themes.  Though Gabriella lives on the Rock Point Marine base, the main themes in the story go deeper.

Young Gabriella is a compassionate thinking person who’s world view isn’t tainted by color or prejudice.  This story is about relationships and overcoming obstacles.  It is a quick read that left me with a warm feeling.

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