Swimming Home 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       November 26, 2014


Author  Deborah Levy

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 978-0-571-29960-7
Publisher:         Faber and Faber Ltd
Release Date:    

Website:    http://www.faber.co.au 

Edgy, fascinating, downright weird and compulsive this is a work of fiction that strips back the layers of relationships exposing clearly the raw delicate uncertainty that makes up the inner person.

Kitty Finch is a self-claimed botanist who is found floating in the pool of a property rented for the summer by well know poet Joe Jacobs. His wife Isobel, a foreign correspondent, comes to her rescue and takes her into their home as an unwanted lodger for the summer. But who is Kitty Finch and what influence does she have over this encapsulated world within the French Villa for summer hire.

Kitty is etheric, unstable and mesmeric as she carves a swath throughout the summer people of the quiet French village where the story unfolds. What is it that Madeleine Sheridan, the elderly neighbour knows about Kitty that she is so fearful of and why does Joe Jacob’s wife allow Kitty to remain in the household, even though she is aware of the rifts being caused! Where does the handyman Jürgen fit into the picture as he is far from a handyman and what effect is Kitty Finch having on Nina the young and highly susceptible daughter of Joe and Isobel?

 Layer upon layer of the human psyche are uncovered in this elusive and capturing story of dysfunctional lives and dysfunctional people which creates a resonance within each one of us as it exposes vulnerability and causes introspection by each of the characters as they come to terms with a summer like no other. Full of beginning and endings ending with the final, almost stunning climax this is a story which starts in the middle, ends in the middle but covers a world within.