“... to be forceful was not the same as being powerful and to be gentle was not the same as being fragile...”
A peculiar book, the first words that come to mind to describe this novel are languid, sad, summery, poetry.
The book is set in Cote d'Azur, in a villa not far from Nice where two families are holidaying. The found a naked girl swimming in the pool when they arrive and she ends up staying.
A depressed yet cheerful poet, a depressed and neurotic young woman, a girl too wise for her age, a wife detached and so very lonely, a man whose focus is food.
A very strange book, short and easy to get through, quite sad, it reminded me a bit of Fitzgerlad's novels set in France, where underneath the patina of drunken wealthiness, all the characters were in reality depressed and lonely.
Overall rating: 5 Plot: 5 Writing style: 5 Cover: 7
Author: Deborah Levy
Publication year: 2012
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.
Deborah Levy FRSL is a British playwright, novelist, and poet. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company. She was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1959, and she emigrated with her parents to London at the age of 10.