Night Swim by Jessica Keener

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Synopsis

"Sixteen-year-old Sarah Kunitz lives in a posh, suburban world of 1970 Boston. From the outside, her parents' lifestyle appears enviable - a world defined by cocktail parties, expensive cars, and live-in maids to care for their children - but inside their five-bedroom house, all is not well for the Kunitz family. Coming home from school, Sarah finds her well-dressed, pill-popping mother lying disheveled on their living room couch. At night, to escape their parents' arguments, Sarah and her oldest brother, Peter, find solace in music, while her two younger brothers retreat to their rooms and imaginary lives. Any vestige of decorum and stability drains away when tragedy hits one terrible winter day. Soon after, their father, a self-absorbed, bombastic professor begins an affair with a younger colleague. Sarah, aggrieved, dives into two summer romances that lead to unforeseen consequences. In a story that will make you laugh and cry, Night Swim shows how a family, bound by heartache, learns to love again."
 

About Jessica Keener

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Jessica Keener wrote her first book when she was eight years old, stitching construction paper together with yarn, a holiday gift to her parents. As a child, she read and reread Andersen's and Grimm's fairy tales, biographies of famous people, mysteries, and animal stories such as Charlotte's Web and The Yearling, which caused her to sob with bodily abandonment. She wrote poetry in high school and college. After getting a Master's degree from Brown University in creative writing, she began publishing short stories in literary magazines. Jessica's fiction has been listed in The Pushcart Prize under Outstanding Writers. Writing awards include a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist's Grant Program, a Joan Jakobson Scholarship from Wesleyan Writers Conference; a Chekhov Prize for Excellence in Fiction by the editors of Wilderness House Literary Review; and second prize in Redbook magazine's fiction contest. For more than a dozen years she's also been a features writer for The Boston Globe, Design New England, O, the Oprah Magazine and other national magazines. In 2001, she published a business memoir, Time to Make the Donuts, with the founder of Dunkin Donuts. Night Swim is her debut novel.
 
Published January 10, 2012 by Fiction Std. 284 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Night Swim

Publishers Weekly

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Keener's debut novel is a coming-of-age story that begins, like so many remembrances, with a voice from the past%E2%80%94middle-aged Sarah Kunitz is married with three grown children, but is called ba

Apr 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Night Swim

Publishers Weekly

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Keener's debut novel is a coming-of-age story that begins, like so many remembrances, with a voice from the past%E2%80%94middle-aged Sarah Kunitz is married with three grown children, but is called ba

Apr 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Night Swim

Examiner

Her experimentation is at once tentative and willful but as you read through this book, Sarah takes everything on--from her mother's accidents, to her father's explosive anger, to the confusion and refuge of children trying to make sense of what happens in the contentious adult world around them-...

Mar 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Night Swim

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Julia Thomas 18 May 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5