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.
— Cathleen Medwick