Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Julie's Review: Swimming For Sunlight

Author: Allie Larkin
Series: None
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 352
Obtained: publisher via NetGalley
Genre:  Contemporary 
FictionRating: 5/5
Bottom Line: How do you fix yourself when you feel like you've been broken for so long?
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Aspiring costume designer Katie gave up everything in her divorce to gain custody of her fearful, faithful rescue dog, Barkimedes. While she figures out what to do next, she heads back to Florida to live with her grandmother, Nan.

But Katie quickly learns there’s a lot she doesn’t know about Nan—like the fact that in her youth Nan was a mermaid performer in a roadside attraction show, swimming and dancing underwater with a close-knit cast of talented women. Although most of the mermaids have since lost touch, Katie helps Nan search for her old friends on Facebook, sparking hopes for a reunion show. Katie is up for making some fabulous costumes, but first, she has to contend with her crippling fear of water. 

As Katie’s college love Luca, a documentary filmmaker, enters the fray, Katie struggles to balance her hopes with her anxiety, and begins to realize just how much Bark’s fears are connected to her own, in this thoughtful, charming novel about hope after loss and friendships that span generations.

Review: I kind of want to be a mermaid in a fantastic costume made by Kay! The descriptions of the costumes were so vivid, I felt like I was in the room with her when she was sewing.

Kaitlin, Katie, Kay has been through a lot. She was in a marriage that didn't really work for her and gave up everything in the divorce to keep her dog, Barky. She drives back home to Florida to live with her grandmother while she gets back on her feet. The thing is, I'm not sure she knows what that really means. Katie has been an anxious soul since she was a kid when her father died in front of her. She's dealt with it by closing herself off to most people. Except now her anxiety is affecting her ability to function and in a lot of ways her dog. I could also feel Kay and Barky’s anxiety as I read the words used to describe her fears. Her fears of losing the people closest to her. You can lose what you push away, right? 

The friendships that are threaded through this novel are special. I hope that when I’m an older lady, I have friends like that around me. They keep pushing Kay out of her shell so that she can deal with her fears, especially the one that revolves around water. You can't make costumes for mermaids if you don't understand how things move in water. 

Ms. Larkin does a fantastic job of making you understand anxiety and fears. How our experiences shape us as an adult and how mental illness needs to be recognized and dealt with. This is a very special novel and I can’t recommend it enough.



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