Cover Image: The Swimmers

The Swimmers

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Member Reviews

Like Julie Otsuka's previous books - her 2002 debut novel, When the Emperor was Divine, which dealt with Japanese American internment during World War II, and her second novel, The Buddha in the Attic (2011), about Japanese picture brides, The Swimmers is bound to be an instant classic. It's important to note, however, that this novel definitely differs from her previous efforts. It is a more personal and intimate story, which should be obvious even in the fact that the characters are named and have very specific histories. Still, this has the same unique storytelling flair that characterizes Otsuka's other memorable novels.

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This book is a tiny love letter to those lap swimmers in the local YMCA or public pool. As a lap swimmer myself, reading this book is like a chlorinated hug for those of us who love the daily ritual of diving in and following the pool lines back and forth. The Swimmers is poetic, engrossing, and just about perfect. My favorite read this fall.

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I actually really like this book about a mother and daughter relationship. This book starts with a mother who consoles herself with swimming. When her displacement activity is taken from her, she focuses on her relationships. I really enjoyed the story.

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