Swimming with Fishes

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Sorry for the inconvenience but I have lost interest in the concept. Thank you for providing the copy though. I look forward to reading some more titles of yours. Thanks!
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Swimming with the Fishes by Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm is a 2017 Jacaranda Books publication. 

File this one under the ‘What was I thinking?’ category. I did read the blurb before I selected this book, but blurbs can often be deceiving, and I hoped there may be some plausible explanation for Ben’s actions. 

But.. Nope- he’s an immature guy, who, while away from home on a business/pleasure trip, he embarks on a fateful affair, while back in London, he has a terrific wife and two beautiful daughters, who think the world of him. 

Kat, the bohemian Jamaican girl he falls for, has sickle cell anemia. However, despite the dangers, she desperately wants a child. After it is predicted by a fortune teller that she will have a child by a man ‘from across the ocean’, the thought stays with her, until one day she meets Ben. She becomes certain he will be the father of her child, as it was foretold. However, it wasn’t until he had begun his seduction, that she becomes aware of his marriage. 

Still, the affair continues-

While I often read dramatic novels in which adultery occasionally rears its ugly head, it is a topic that makes me very uncomfortable. Cheating, no matter what the circumstances, is a hard sell for me. But, in this case, it was presented in a manner that caused me to vehemently dislike Ben. Kat is just as guilty, of course, and should have immediately ended things no matter what. Her crisis of conscience comes entirely too late, after incredible, irrevocable damage as been done, and neither she, nor Ben, really seemed to feel any deep remorse for their actions. 

So, without going into more detail- let’s just say this one didn’t impress me, and I ended up feeling quite annoyed by the entire situation. 

I’m going to round the rating up a to two stars because it is partly my own fault since I read the blurb, and still chose to read it, despite the warning about cheating, and I stupidly hoped against hope for something good to come from a bad situation. 

1.5 rounded up
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This book was a very enjoyable book! I do love how it bounced back and forth between the characters in England and Jamaica and how they lived their lives. I do like how the ending tied things together in their own way.
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Kat Lewis just turned 28 and her “I want a BABY” clock is ticking so loud it is deafening. It doesn’t get any better when the local “psychic” or “witch” Mother Cynthy tells Kat that she has had a dream that Kat will meet a man from across the sea and have that baby she so desires. There are a few problems with that and therein lies the premise of this story.

When Thornton “Ben” Benjamin in Jamaica for work sees Kat sitting on the beach with her sketch pad what is the first curiosity for them both turns into something that will change both lives forever.

This story set in Jamaica was beautifully written. I must say, the storyline is not what makes this book a compelling read. In fact, some are going to find the love affair distasteful but what I liked about the book was the way Ms. Malcolm weaved a story that had me wrapped up in it and that for me is what a well-told story should do. It has enough heat, drama, and love to move the story forward. I also liked some of the secondary characters one, in particular, was Kat’s mum/mom and her beau. They were lovely.

I recommend that you buy this book, and I will for sure be reading other books by Ms. Malcolm.
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Thank you for suggesting this title, but I politely decline to review it at this time. The summary is not terribly appealing to me, and I am going to focus on a different title from Jacaranda Books. Thank you again for the suggestion!
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I will keep this review short because I have very little in the way of good things to say about it.

I am beyond disappointed that this book was as bad as it was. Honestly, who could read this cover to cover and still like it??
Not me. NOT ME.

Plus, the number of typos and grammatical errors was astounding!!!

Both of the main characters are incredibly weak, selfish, and wishy-washy. Such weakness makes for an uncomfortable read.
No self-respecting reader could truly like Kat and Ben, in my opinion.

I had such a difficult time sympathizing with either of them. Kat is superstitious to a fault, letting nothing get in her way of having a baby (her lifelong dream, apparently), and Ben sums up every cheating, backstabbing, and ignorant man to ever walk this earth. 

Let me sum them up right now and save readers time.
"Look at me, I'm educated yet selfish. I like babies, am obsessed with them, in fact. I want a baby for myself. Waa waa waa. I deserve a baby. Why does my mother hate me?? Why does the world challenge me? Who cares if I could die before, during, or after giving birth? I want to bring a child of my own into this world so that I can up and die and leave him/her without a mother to care for him/her. That would be so great! What a great mother that would make me! The weight of the world is on my shoulders. Waa waa waa!"

"Look at me, I'm so rich. I have it all! Isn't it nice to be so rich? But hey, I'm so handsome and rugged and don't even realize I'm sooooo appealing to women that I don't brag about it or flaunt my uncontrollable sexiness to any woman (other than my wife) because I'm a GOOD man. Wow! I'm such a good man! So good, in fact, that I stalk a hot woman on the beach and seduce her and let her play right into my hands and get her into bed. I love my family, though! I LOVE my wife. I love my two innocent daughters. And now that I have two incredibly desirable, educated, and caring women in my life, I'll just yank them back and forth because I truly believe that I CAN have it all! I'm a man, after all, so I must deserve it!"

The only positive thing I have to say about this book is that I loved the fact that it took place in Jamaica. Such a dazzling place for the setting of a novel. 
That being said, even Malcolm's descriptions of Jamaica fell flat for me. She could have put A LOT more effort into capturing the true essence of such a gorgeous country, yet she seemed to gloss over it, and by the end of the book, there was no descriptive imagery to look forward to--nothing to keep readers mesmerized and feel transported. It was kind of just like, "Meh. Jamaica. Whatever." Such a waste!

Do yourself a favor and skip this one altogether. 

*If I've offended anyone with my review, then I apologize. That was not my intention. Reviews are just that: opinions. If you genuinely liked this book, then you are a far more forgiving reader than I.*

**Note: This ARC was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
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I just could not get into the plot of this book.  Did not enjoy and stopped reading midway.
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Swimming With Fishes is a quick read set mainly in Jamaica, focusing on the love affair between a pair of ill fated lovers. Although I was able to read Swimming with Fishes quickly, I did have issues with the story. I did not particularly like either Kat or Ben as characters. They both came across as selfish which made me unsympathetic to their particular emotional pains. I somewhat understood Kat's desire for a child, but I did not like her actions. At twenty eight years old, Kat should be well aware of the consequences of her actions, and should have been able to make better judgments at several times throughout the story. Once Kat knows that she is not just Ben's lover, but his mistress, her decisions and behavior could have been less self serving. I understand being in love with someone and dreaming of a possible life with them, but I do not understand sacrificing your own self respect and disregarding the pain inflicted on other people.

Ben is no better with his weak integrity and self pity, which I find unattractive in a romantic lead. I don't accept general unhappiness and disquiet with the way his life has played out as an excuse to cheat on your wife and children. Ben actually thinks that because Kat is his first affair while a friend of his has had many lovers, that he isn't so bad. No, sir Ben. No, sir. I admit that I am biased against weak willed, self pitying cheaters who refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions; so the character of Ben didn't have a really good chance of gaining my sympathies. 

Another issue that I had with Swimming with Fishes is that the dialogue felt stilted and the dialect of the local characters was written in a way that was a bit off putting. The way the secondary characters were written seemed to emphasize how well educated Kat is and that she is somehow smarter and more sophisticated than the majority of the people in her life. Ben, being British born and educated, is her ideal soul mate, and is in fact predicted for her by a local woman who can glimpse the future. The story is populated with stereotypical characters that you would expect to find in a close knit community. A nosy gossipy neighbor, a stern mother with strong religious beliefs, and a sassy straight shooting best friend who is willing to dish out tough love to Kat when needed. 

Unfortunately, Swimming with Fishes was not a great read for me, but I think that I would pick up a second book by Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm to see if her writing moves in a different direction.
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3 stars

This is a nicely written novel with somewhat likeable characters. But Kat and her London-born friend Ben are a little rough around the edges. Perhaps that what chronic illness did to them. 

This is a romantic novel with an interesting twist. The couple each has their own secrets. 

This is a romance novel at heart and I really don’t choose to read them. That’s my bad. I didn’t read the review carefully enough when I ordered it. 

I want to thank Netgalley and Jacaranda Books for forwarding to me a copy of this book to read.
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With its gorgeous cover and a title like Swimming with Fishes, the story that followed makes sense. It was nice to read authentic Caribbean voices from these interesting characters.
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Y'all know what happens when someone in the family dreams of fish, right? Well here is a literary version of events. Set in rural Jamaica, Swimming with Fishes is about the love affair between a London businessman and a native Jamaican. What started as a business trip turned into much more.

Kat wants a baby more than anything in life. She's always been told it is extremely risky because she was born with sickle cell anaemia. She wasn't even expected to survive her first birthday. Yet when the local herbalist/mythological lady foretells a man from across the ocean who will father her child...the dream becomes a possible reality only years later. Fairy tale, right? Not so much. Unknown to Ben, Kat is a sickle cell sufferer; unknown to Kat, Ben is already married with children.

"Being interested or curious isn't being intrusive." ~ 10%

Talk about a doozy! Like so many other books, I found myself rooting for the "wrong" woman until I took my emotions out of it and enjoyed the story for what it was...island love fiction. Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm wrote with the right amount of description so I could picture the characters in my mind without losing interest or reading long paragraphs. However, I was somewhat disappointed by the end and wonder if there was an alternate ending the author had in mind. Hmmm...nevertheless, it was a good read.

Happy Pub Day, Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm! Swimming with Fishes is now available.

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There was plenty of drama as well as a good portrayal of how someone can overcome an adverse situation in their lives. However, the end was disappointing as it was rather abrupt.
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