Swimming Home

Swimming Home

Book - 2011
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Selected for the 2012 Man Booker Prize short list. "Levy manipulates light and shadow with artfulness. She transfixes the reader: we recognize...the thing of darkness in us all. This is an intelligent, pulsating literary beast." --The Telegraph (UK)
As he arrives with his family at the villa in the hills above Nice, Joe sees a body in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a self-proclaimed botanist with green-painted fingernails, walking naked out of the water and into the heart of their holiday. Why is she there? What does she want from them all? And why does Joe's enigmatic wife allow her to remain?
A subversively brilliant study of love, Swimming Home reveals how the most devastating secrets are the ones we keep from ourselves.

Publisher: High Wycombe, England : And Other Stories, 2011
ISBN: 9781620401699
9781908276025
1908276029
Characteristics: viii, 157 p. ; 21 cm

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t
tegan
Aug 07, 2019

A bit darker than what I was expecting, based on the synapsis of the book.

b
baldma
Feb 13, 2019

A wonderful engaging story...love this author she resonates for me.

s
SandyLK
Oct 01, 2018

An exquisitely written and thought-provoking novel. It had my rapt attention from beginning to end. The great writers use as few words as possible to paint a picture (Alice Munroe) and Levy shows this skill in abundance. I have been recommending the book and the author to everyone I know. I can't wait to read more of her works.

k
kels_m
Jul 19, 2017

Neither the characters or the plot were able to hold my attention while I read this book, and the writing seemed disengaged from all of the events within the story. I am quite surprised it made it onto the Man Booker Prize shortlist. Maybe it will leave a different impression on me after I read other novels by Deborah Levy...

madison382 Jan 08, 2014

One of the most disturbing books I have read in a long time.

u
uncommonreader
Dec 20, 2013

This is a seemingly conventional story of two middle-class couples on holiday in southern France which one expects to unfold in the usual way. However, the presence of a stranger who is obsessive and unstable changes everything and causes the characters to come undone. This is a novel about depression and creativity, about control and about the power of the past. The novel has its own rhythm and is disturbing. A worthy Booker nominee.

ksoles Mar 03, 2013

A stranger destroying an already-crumbling marriage hardly seems like a unique plot formula. However, as soon as the beautiful, deranged Kitty Finch shows up at an English family's villa in Nice, Deborah Levy's storytelling becomes allusive, elliptical and disturbing. Her novel not only explores relationships; it also probes into the nature of childhood trauma, exile, depression and creativity.

"Swimming Home" uses spare but fresh prose to tell a tale from multiple viewpoints and several generations. At its centre sits poet Joe Jacobs, whose history as a Jewish child in the Polish woods haunts him. Together, Joe's teenaged daughter, Nina, and 80-year-old doctor Madeleine offer an authentic range of female experience while his seemingly victimized wife, Isabel, constantly upends readers' expectations.

This shocking novel harrowingly explores loss and longing, ending with the adult Nina's terrifying understanding that she can never know when the past begins and ends.

j
JillyBean47
Feb 16, 2013

Although a small book, the story is very disturbing. A somewhat confusion conclusion as well. I choose this book because it was a finalist in the Man Booker Award books, it was a disturbing book on many levels. Not one of my favourites reads.

r
rikrak
Feb 09, 2013

Spoiler Alert! I read this because it was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and was surprised at how weak it was. Characters don't make sense, the writing is juvenile and the ridiculous story trajectory provoked in me a suspicion that Levy started this novel with a specific man in mind who she would like to see floating in a swimming pool. The spoiler here is not the dumb ending but that the book is not worth reading.

m
macierules
Dec 09, 2012

Great writing - it took me almost 3/4 of the way through the book before I cared about any of the characters, but once there I was fully engaged. Booker Shortlisted 2012

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jukisoo
Jun 17, 2013

Life is only worth living because we hope it will get better and we'll all get home safely.

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