Swimming
Swimming
By Nicola Keegan
320 pages; Knopf


Think: velocity. Think: a girl moving through adolescence at breakneck speed as she sloughs off anguish (her mother's chronic depression) and heartbreak (the deaths of her sister and father) to become a gold medal–winning Olympic swimmer. Sharper than the prose in Nicola Keegan's sleek-as-a-porpoise debut novel, Swimming , is the perception of her broad-shouldered protagonist, Philomena, that while water is her element, "the ebb and flow of human emptiness" is the force she must reckon with.

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