Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
A Novel

70%

14 Critic Reviews

Her novel is utterly beautiful and lyrical throughout...A shortlisted nominee for the Man Booker Prize, deserving of the widest readership.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Short-listed for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. "Readers will have to resist the temptation to hurry up in order to find out what happens . . . Our reward is the enjoyable, if unsettling, experience of being pitched into the deep waters of Levy's wry, accomplished novel."--Francine Prose, New York Times Book Review

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.
 

About Deborah Levy

See more books from this Author
Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays, and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company and broadcast on the BBC. She is the author of highly praised novels including Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography, and Billy and Girl. She lives in London.
 
Published September 14, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA. 177 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Swimming Home
All: 14 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good
on Oct 16 2012

Her novel is utterly beautiful and lyrical throughout...A shortlisted nominee for the Man Booker Prize, deserving of the widest readership.

Read Full Review of Swimming Home: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
on Nov 21 2012

“Swimming Home” should be read with care. So many of its important events occur in the spaces between chapters...Our reward is the enjoyable, if unsettling, experience of being pitched into the deep waters of Levy’s wry, accomplished novel.

Read Full Review of Swimming Home: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
on Oct 07 2011

The central characters – Kitty, Isabel, Joe and Nina – are perfectly presented...The novel is intimate in detail, and fits so much into so little space that it's tempting to check back to make sure the pages are numbered properly.

Read Full Review of Swimming Home: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

WSJ online

Above average
on Oct 12 2012

...here is an excellent story, told with the subtlety and menacing tension of a veteran playwright (and, indeed, Ms. Levy has written for the stage).

Read Full Review of Swimming Home: A Novel | See more reviews from WSJ online

The Telegraph

Good
on Aug 07 2012

Levy manipulates light and shadow with artfulness. She transfixes the reader: we recognise the centipede as the thing of darkness in us all. This is an intelligent, pulsating literary beast.

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The Bookbag

Above average
on Aug 28 2012

The writing is very good. You get the feeling that words have cost money and not only has not one has been wasted, they're all used to maximum effect. When you begin reading you're pulled in and it's very difficult to put the book down.

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Denver Post

Above average
on Oct 21 2012

But it is no less weighty for its lack of length — it floats like a wasp, and stings like one too, with passages like this one, that demand to be read, considered, and reread and reconsidered again:Isabel Jacobs might have pushed Kitty Finch...

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We Love This Book

Above average
on Oct 09 2012

Levy interestingly portrays a young woman with a mental illness, but the story itself is nothing new ...We know it will end disastrously. Swimming Home would work better as a short story, but weighing in at 160 pages it makes for an easy read.

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Booklist Online

Above average
on Oct 31 2012

Levy’s changes of pace and tone, from poetic to vulgar, drive this very arresting novel—at times suggestive of D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf—to its unsettling conclusion.

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IBN Live

Above average
on Oct 15 2012

'Swimming Home' is a powerful, almost offbeat book about the impact of an outsider has on the relationship of two couples, who are sharing a vacation home in the Alps-Maritimes.

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Red Online

Above average
on Sep 25 2012

Yes, it has subject matter...Jungian symbolism abounds alongside Freudian themes of sex and death. And yes, there is tension-taut suspense, page-turning is an imperative. But it isn’t really about plot or action or intrigue.

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The Sunday Times

Above average
on Nov 06 2011

Her new novel, Swimming Home, is as sharp as a wasp sting and as deep as the “cloudy” pool by the French holiday villa where the story unfolds.

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The Jewish Chronicle

Above average
on Sep 19 2011

Swimming Home is not for the casual reader of fiction. The writing is challenging, the characters far from likeable, and the title in no way indicates a series of strokes towards some comfortable conclusion.

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http://www.lareviewofbooks.org

Above average
on Dec 11 2012

The writing in Swimming Home is lean and enigmatic, and Levy sketches the characters with simple, evocative gestures...The short scenes pop and sear, each one telling a part of the story, allowing the reader to piece together the whole.

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Terri McGinty

Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

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