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Swimmingby Nicola Keegan
Synopses & Reviews
“I loved Swimming. It’s the most original novel I’ve read all year. I can’t get Pip’s voice out of my mind. Give yourself a treat this summer—read this book.”
A spectacular debut about the rise of an Olympic champion—a novel about competition, obsession, the hunger for victory, and a young girl with an unsinkable spirit struggling to stay afloat in the only way she can.
When we first meet Pip, the extraordinary heroine of Nicola Keegan’s first novel, she is landlocked in a small town in the center of Kansas, literally swimming for her life. Pip is tall and flat and smart and funny and supernaturally buoyant. On land, she has her share of troubles: an agoraphobic mother, a lost father, a drug-addled sister, and a Catholic education dominated by a group of high-energy nuns. But in the water, Pip is unstoppable. In the water, her suffering and rage are transmuted into grace and speed and beauty.
Swimming is the story of Pip’s journey from a small Midwestern swim team to her first state meet, her brutal professional training, and the final, record-breaking swims that lead to her dizzying ascent to the Olympic podium in Barcelona. It’s the story of a girl who discovers, in the loneliness of adolescence, in the family tragedies that threaten to engulf her, the resilience of the human spirit and the spectacular power of her own body.
A ferociously original novel, sparkling with wit and blazing with emotion, from a gifted new novelist.
A spectacular debut novel from a ferociously gifted new writer.
World-class swimming isn’t all breathing and technique: for Philomena—reluctantly known to the world as Pip—it is a necessity. Haunted by a litany of childhood tragedy—an agoraphobic mother, a lost father, a drug-addled sister, and a Catholic education dominated by nuns—Pip escapes into the racing lane, where her suffering and rage are transmuted into beauty, grace, and purity of will. Swimming is the story of Pip’s rise from the star of her small Midwestern swim team to her first state meets, her brutal professional training, and her eventual gold medals as an Olympic champion. It is a story about competition, obsession, the hunger for victory—and about a
young girl struggling to stay afloat, and to find salvation in the only way she can; a girl who discovers, in the agony and loneliness of adolescence and the family tragedies that threaten to engulf her, the supreme force of her spirit and the spectacular glory of her own body.
Graceful, raw, hilarious, breathtaking in its physical and emotional precision and depth, Swimming is already an international sensation—foreign rights have been sold in twelve countries—and promises to be one of the season’s most electrifying debuts.
Haunted by an agoraphobic mother, a lost father, and a drug-addled sister, Philomena, reluctantly known as Pip, transforms her suffering and rage into beauty, grace, and purity in the swimming lane as she rises to the Olympic level. A first novel.
About the Author
Nicola Keegan divides her time between Ireland and France with her husband and three children.
From the Hardcover edition.
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