Book Review: Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

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Simple, yet complicated, Swimming Home is a short novel of how depression can change a family without them even realizing it.

From Goodreads:
Short-listed for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. 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?

This is a super short novel about depression. It features an eclectic group of people who have gathered together in a vacation villa in France.

Because it’s so short we aren’t privy to much background information about the characters. This minimalistic writing leaves it to our imagination and forces us to see what is happening in the present right in front of us.

Each of them seems to be ignoring and hiding feelings and avoiding each other instead of admitting there’s a problem. Wife escapes through her job, barely looking at her husband. Husband cheats, knowingly pushing his wife away. Daughter senses the trouble brewing, coming to a head. When Kitty, the crazy, beautiful girl who’s gone off her meds, is thrown into the mix, a breaking point is reached and the full impact of depression on the family is realized.

This book is a poignant reminder to take time to notice what’s going on with those around you. Talk, fight, make-up and, most importantly, listen.

View this book on Goodreads.
View this book on Amazon.

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