Title: Swimming Home (Goodreads)
Author: Deborah Levy
Published: Bloomsbury, 2012
Genres: Literary Fiction
My Copy: ARC from Publisher
Buy: Amazon, Book Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)
A group of tourists holidaying in the French Riviera arrive at their summer villa only to find something floating in the swimming pool. One of them thinks it’s a bear, but it turns out to be a very naked stranger. The woman Kitty, having nowhere else to go, joins the group and ends up being a big disruption to the group in this deeply psychology dark novel.
Ok, I’ll admit that the main reason I decided to read this book was because it was short listed for the Man Booker award but let’s face it, after reading what the book was about, I thought it was my type of book. These characters are rich and the addition of a very explosive character made for a fascinating read. At times during the book I felt reminded of that 90’s psychological thriller Wild Things; there was so many unanswered questions that really helped drive this story along. Sure, it is not as twisted as that movie but the psychological aspects are there; at times there are even shades of noir coming through.
Deborah Levy does so much with such a small book; the joy of reading the book is seeing what she doesn’t say. In this aspect I think I would compare her to someone like Kafka, where what she says has so much depth and meaning that it’s really what makes this book so great. Womanising and depression maybe the catalyst but my joy came from the dark and witty elements found throughout this writing.
I’ve not read any of the other books shortlisted for this year Man Booker but I’m hoping this book wins; it has so much in it and I think winning this award would give it the exposure that this book deserves. I’m sure there are many elements of this book I might have missed but I enjoyed the book so much that I’ve already started reading through it again. A literary highlight for my reading journey this year; Swimming Home is well worth picking up.