I am always up for some awesome feminist fiction, whether it’s historical, fantasy, or, in this case, thriller. The Swallows was my first experience reading Lisa Lutz, and I loved it. But it also made me mad. In a good way. And, if you’ve ever felt rage at the phrase “boys will be boys”, it’ll probably make you mad, too.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I picked up The Swallows. The synopsis kind of gave me If We Were Villains vibes, which I just couldn’t resist. And it was worth it. Because I loved this book. I think the story was just so relevant – I was actually describing it to a coworker the other day and she asked if it was a true story, because we could both imagine this actually happening (unfortunately). It is a pretty extreme example of letting boys and men get away with insane and totally unacceptable behavior, because “boys will be boys”. But I think we’ve all seen this to some degree. And I got so much satisfaction from seeing the girls fight back. If only I’d had the guts to take an axe (literal or metaphoric, either one works) to those expectations as a teenager.
The characters themselves were so good. Every single one of them felt human and flawed, but there was also a distinct line between who was on the right side in this issue, and who wasn’t. Because there is no gray area when it comes to sexual abuse. There just isn’t. And I think The Swallows illustrates that perfectly. I so badly wanted to punch a few of these idiots in the face
This was a really great thriller, and I loved every second of it. I seriously could not put it down. I thought the story was brilliant, but also extremely well-crafted. One note I made while reading is that Lisa Lutz really trusts her readers, which I appreciated so much. I think it’s rare for an author of a thriller to let her readers follow the mystery and come to their own conclusions without overly explaining anything, and I really liked that. It made for a more interesting story, and a better reading experience.
★★★★★ – I loved The Swallows. I think it’s a really great thriller with an important message. It was not an easy read by any means, and it will probably make you angry, but it was definitely worth it. I would highly recommend it!
This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.