Swimming by Nicola Keegan
By Nicola Keegan
“I enjoyed Swimming. It’s the main unique novel I’ve learn all yr. I can’t get Pip’s voice out of my brain. supply your self a deal with this summer—read this book.”—Judy BlumeA fabulous debut in regards to the upward push of an Olympic champion—a novel approximately pageant, obsession, the starvation for victory, and a tender lady with an unsinkable spirit suffering to stick afloat within the purely means she can.When we first meet Pip, the extreme heroine of Nicola Keegan’s first novel, she is landlocked in a small city within the middle of Kansas, actually swimming for her existence. Pip is tall and flat and shrewdpermanent and humorous and supernaturally buoyant. On land, she has her percentage of problems: an agoraphobic mom, a misplaced father, a drug-addled sister, and a Catholic schooling ruled by way of a bunch of high-energy nuns. yet within the water, Pip is unstoppable. within the water, her anguish and rage are transmuted into grace and pace and beauty.Swimming is the tale of Pip’s trip from a small Midwestern swim crew to her first kingdom meet, her brutal specialist education, and the ultimate, record-breaking swims that result in her dizzying ascent to the Olympic podium in Barcelona. It’s the tale of a lady who discovers, within the loneliness of early life, within the kinfolk tragedies that threaten to engulf her, the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable strength of her personal body.A ferociously unique novel, gleaming with wit and blazing with emotion, from a talented new novelist.
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My soul de-withers, my heart soothes down. Father Tod is wheezing. I wonder if he’s asleep, but he mumbles something, then blesses me. I should feel better, don’t. Life is quiet and dusty and lonesome and I’m sick of it already. I leave the confessional to pay my dues to the tune of seven Hail Marys, but don’t think it’s fair that I have to believe and Leonard doesn’t. It dawns unnaturally hot on life’s most beautiful day. Mom hits me on the head with the back of the hairbrush when I squirm, a couple of bobby pins clamped in her mouth.
These are therapeutic flights that work on the principle that by removing ourselves from earth’s grasp, we cool its sting. It works; little problems waltz across the world until the bigger ones give in and join them. Dr. Ahmet Noorani, the Pakistani urologist, has the hangar next to ours. He flies a ratty Cessna he’s named Ducky and is building his own plane. He’s here every time we are, standing in the hangar in dirty white coveralls with a wrench in one hand and a bright yellow cigarette burning in the other.
Hello there, Shirley; weather’s looking good today. She didn’t say hello to me, nodding coolly in my direction with both lips pressed together in a wide coral line. She’d caught the Cocoplat’s rendition of her in the bathroom the last time we flew together; we’d forgotten to check the stall, a mistake we will not make again. I stifled the smile I was going to give her, wanting to say I’m sorry but not feeling up to the task. Some people give you one chance and after that you’re dead to them forever.