Book Review: The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka

Looking for your next read? Check out The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka, reviewed by Fulco Library staff, Ellen B.

Those who swim in the pool are dedicated to it, possibly even obsessed by it. They are rule followers…mainly. Those who swim have their favorite lane in the pool, some have outrageous bathing suits and some wear almost nothing at all. Some swim so fast everyone stays out of their way, others are known to take a more leisurely approach. When the crack first appears on the bottom of the pool, not much notice is taken. But as the weeks go on, a conversation begins about the crack. And that is where this novel begins to swerve left – the narrative explores an estranged daughter’s witness of her mother’s decline into dementia. While that isn’t a cheerful topic, the novel is written in a way that grabs the reader and does not let go. The way the swimmers are described in the pool and above the water is just beautiful. Otsuka’s writing is spare, but perfect. Otsuka’s other novels include The Buddha in the Attic and When the Emperor Was Divine.

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The Swimmers

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This post is for educational purposes and the contents are not endorsed by the Fulton County Library System or Fulton County Government.