Title: The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim
Author: Jules Wake
Published on: 30 April 2022
Ettie has a tough time staying at a job for long. She worked at a vintage clothes store before it burned down to ashes. Well, in all the previous instances, Ettie had a hand in things going wrong. However, this time, it was a gas leak explosion. Ettie doubts for a second if she had left the gas knob on… never mind, she’s once again unemployed!
She returns to her hometown in Yorkshire. Staying in London was her dream but staying at one job for long… um, debatable. Ettie’s granddad says there is a job at the local Happlethwaithe mansion. The new owner is planning to convert it to a hotel and they are desperately looking for someone to help them out.
Ettie meets the owner Dominic and his co-partner Gracie. Gracie is in her mid sixties while Dominic is young and dashing. Ettie is offered the job. She was her usual ‘Ettie’ self from the start – stubborn to the core and gets things done at any cost. Dominic has a problem with trespassers. He doesn’t want people to swim at the estate’s private lake. But Ettie’s granddad and his gang of swimmers pay no heed to Dom’s warnings. Ettie used to swim in the lake when she was young. Swimming is the only thing that helped her heal from the wounds of her past.
So, Ettie makes a plan. Dominic is recovering from an injury and goes to physio every wednesday morning. So, the wild swimmers gang – Ettie and Gracie included – decide to meet once a week at the lake. The Wednesday Wild Swim Club turns out to be a regular affair and the ‘misfits’ meet once a week to have a splash in the lake…
Ettie and Dominic are falling in love. Dom has been betrayed in love once. And now, Ettie’s holding on to the secret – the wednesday wild swimming routine. What might happen if Dominic gets a whiff of what’s going on behind his back?
The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim by Jules Wake is a delightful read. I really loved the setting and the story. From the title, it is quite clear the theme of the story is swimming. A group of misfits forget their worries and their hurtful past when they go swimming. Pools do not give them the ‘zing’ that swimming in wild does. Though the venue is good, the estate in which the lake is associated isn’t. The estate owner is not happy with people swimming in the lake.
As the story proceeds, Ettie learns Dominic was in the Navy’s search and rescue operation team. Things went sideways and he no longer wanted to work there. Gracie’s husband of fifty years, Bob, and Dom met at work. After retirement, both men wanted to start a retreat but the plans fell flat when Bob passed away unexpectedly. Gracie decided to fulfil her late husband’s dreams and that is how she and Dom became co-partners of the hotel.
In the first half of the story, Ettie is convinced that neither Gracie nor Dominic are serious about their venture. The renovations do not happen as planned as neither of the partners are interested. Then, Ettie decides to pitch in and make sure her ideas are heard. (She’s quite stubborn, you see, and gets things done.)
When Ettie starts to live in the mansion, sparks fly. (To be honest, they did from the time she was interviewed.) Dominic and Ettie fall in love and Ettie learns of Dominic’s hurtful past. Ettie’s stubborn and blunt for my liking. Knowing that Dom was betrayed once and has trust issues, I felt she should have told him about the secretive swim club before things worsened.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I loved the setting and the eclectic mix of characters. The characters’ side stories – love ones especially – added oodles of charm to the story. If you are looking to read a feel-good novel, you might want to give The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim by Jules Wake a try.
I received an ARC from One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.