The First Rule of Swimming by Courtney Angela Brkic
A Novel

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A few unnecessarily melodramatic plot twists only slightly mar a sensitive tale of deep emotional force.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A woman must leave her island home to search for her missing sister-and confront the haunted history of her family.

Magdalena does not panic when she learns that her younger sister has disappeared. A free-spirit, Jadranka has always been prone to mysterious absences. But when weeks pass with no word, Magdalena leaves the isolated Croatian island where their family has always lived and sets off to New York to find her sister. Her search begins to unspool the dark history of their family, reaching back three generations to a country torn by war.

A haunting and sure-footed debut by an award-winning writer, The First Rule of Swimming explores the legacy of betrayal and loss in a place where beauty is fused inextricably with hardship, and where individuals are forced to make wrenching choices as they are swept up in the tides of history.
 

About Courtney Angela Brkic

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Courtney Angela Brkic is the author of Stillness: And Other Stories--named a 2003 Best Book by the Chicago Tribune, a Notable Book by the New York Times, and a Barnes & Noble Discover pick. Her memoir The Stone Fields was shortlisted for the Freedom of Expression Award by the Index on Censorship. Brkic has been the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches in the MFA program at George Mason University, and lives in New York City.
 
Published May 28, 2013 by Little, Brown and Company. 337 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The First Rule of Swimming
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
Reviewed by Anomymous\ on Apr 15 2013

A few unnecessarily melodramatic plot twists only slightly mar a sensitive tale of deep emotional force.

Read Full Review of The First Rule of Swimming: A... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Brooke Allen on Jul 12 2013

“The First Rule of Swimming” examines lives bruised and twisted by history, like weather-beaten trees that nevertheless manage to produce the sweetest fruit.

Read Full Review of The First Rule of Swimming: A... | See more reviews from NY Times

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