Just what constitutes a perfect family? Is it having both a mother and father? Is it belonging to the country club and having lots of money? In Night Swim, debut novelist Jessica Keener gives us an in-depth look into a so called ‘perfect family and what sometimes lurks behind the facade?
To the outside world sixteen-year-old Sarah Kunitz’s life looks pretty good. Her parents live pretty high with parties, expensive cars and even a live-in maid to take care of the chores and help with Sarah and her three brothers. Looks can be deceiving though and much of the time the kids sit nervous and waiting for the next blowup from their father who likes to have complete order and control of his household. Sarah’s mother, who blames her children and arthritis for making her give up a career playing the violin handles things by popping as many pills as she can manage and always having a drink at hand.
When Sarah’s mother dies in a car accident the lives of the Kunitz family are forever changed. Yet for Sarah she has felt her mother slipping away for a long time, trying to leave them. She had finally succeeded. Her father, already more concerned with himself than his kids, begins to see a younger lady friend who had been friends to both of her parents at one time. None of the kids are happy with this but Sarah especially so. This woman can’t take the place of her mother and Sarah is angry with her father for starting to see someone so soon after her mother’s death.
Drifting along Sarah, anxious to grow up and having no guidance to steer her otherwise delves into a few relationships with boys. Sarah, normally a level headed girl, doesn’t foresee the all of the consequences of jumping into relationships that she really isn’t quite ready to handle and ultimately she is faced with decisions that a girl of her age shouldn’t have to make.
Night Swim is a beautifully written novel and one I enjoyed. There are many passages that are worth reading over and over just for the beauty of the sentence itself. Sarah, even being in the midst of her confusing teenage years, is an easy girl to like and you find yourself very invested in her life and future. You find yourself feeling her pain over the loss of her mother and then her struggle to find herself in a world that doesn’t make much sense to her anymore. Night Swim is a coming of age story but even more than that it is a story of a broken people trying to find a way to heal and move on.
I read Night Swim by Jessica Keener for her book tour with TLC Book Tours. You can pop into the other tour stops and see the thoughts of others on this novel. Be sure to check out Jessica’s website and you can find her on Facebook and Twitter as well. Your own copy of Night Swim can be purchased here in the US and here in Canada.
I have one copy of Night Swim by Jessica Keener to share with my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry simply leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
- For 2 entries, follow my blog. If you already do, thank you, and please let me know so I can pass the extra entry on to you as well.
- For 3 entries, blog or tweet this giveaway and spread the word.
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, March 10/12. Good luck to all!
Source: Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours and Fiction Studio Books. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.