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Confusing,
Poorly Written,
Pointless

2 reviews

Night Swim
by Jessica Keener

Published: 2012-01-10
Paperback : 284 pages
21 members reading this now
2 clubs reading this now
0 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 2 members
"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 ...
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Introduction

"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 their mother dies in a car crash 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."

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

Prelude



Mickey Fineburg’s email brings everything back again.

Hi, Sarah. Remembering those good ‘ol days in the neighborhood. Saw your CDs online. Sampled the links. Wow! Impressive. How did you end up in California?

I kissed Mickey under a broken pool table in my basement. We were eight, his lips warm as play dough, pressing with earnest intention. I pressed back, happy and unafraid, oblivious to Mickey’s younger brother watching us. That night at the dinner table Mother looked stern and surprised. She said: Mickey’s mother called me. You’re too young to start, Sarah. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

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Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

“I loved this novel. It was just breathtaking and I was really left in awe. There was not a wasted word, or scene or emotion that did not resonate or ring true. The pages ached.”

--Caroline Leavitt, NYTimes bestselling author of Pictures of You

"Jessica Keener steps boldly into the terrain of Eugene O'Neill, conjuring up the pathologies and quirks of a besieged Boston family in stark, quivering detail that never entirely distracts us from the looming sense of crisis. This gripping first novel announces the arrival of a strong, distinct and fully evolved new voice."

--Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize winner, National Book Critics Circle Award winner, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

“An amazing new literary voice, Jessica Keener explores the fine-laced network of tangled familial relations in language both bold and intricate. Night Swim is the deeply moving and devastatingly beautiful work of a fearless writer."

--Sara Gruen, NY Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants

"Jessica Keener has an ear for the nuances of family life and manages, in this book, a small miracle --describing, convincingly, a family suffering the rigidity and opaqueness of a small-scale tyrant, yet honoring his authority and treating his painful struggles with kindness. Keener's heroine, a 16-year-old girl impatient to achieve womanliness, is a marvel of curiosity, impulsiveness, and generosity. What a lovely book!"

--C. Michael Curtis, Fiction Editor, The Atlantic

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Night Swim"by tmamryan (see profile) 07/08/12

 
  "Made for a very good group discussion.."by LynnL716 (see profile) 07/03/12

I liked this book-- the writing was very good.. Not sure I understood the point of what was being told until we discussed the book at our meeting. Was enjoyed by most of the group.

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