Born in a landlocked town in the center of Kansas, Pip is tall, flat, smart, funny, and supernaturally buoyant. On land, she has her share of troubles: an agoraphobic mother, a lost father, and a school full of nuns who just want her to sit still. But in the water, Pip is unstoppable. Swimming her way from a small Midwestern team to the Barcelona Olympics, Pip’s journey is the story of a young girl with an unsinkable spirit, struggling to stay afloat in the only way she can.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Suspense & Thrillers eBook: Swimming|
|Release Date: 07-14-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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I’m a problematic infant but everything seems okay to me. I’m sitting in Leonard’s arms grabbing at his nose. I have no idea how prehistoric my face is, am smiling a gaping, openmouthed smile that pushes the fat up around my eyes, causing a momentary blackout. When the world turns black, I scream. I’m blessed with unusual eyebrow mobility; when I scream, they scream with me. Leonard pats my back, bouncing me gently up and down; his face is tired and drawn and as green as the lime green paint the nuns use for their windowsills. I recover quickly, push his big nose in with all my force, have no idea that a perfect replica is sitting in the middle of my own face just waiting to grow.
I have seven chins varying in size and volume; crevasses things get stuck in that my mother has to excavate carefully after each bath. We have ceremonies: Each morning she leans in toward me with a cotton ball dipped in baby oil, two purple sandbags of fatigue carefully holding down her eyes, and each morning I karate-kick the open bottle of baby oil out of her hand. Today she burst into tears as the bottle whizzed past her ear, shooting a trail of shiny oil across the room. I wailed with her in loving solidarity, the fat above my ankles flapping over my monstrous feet like loose tights.
I live simply; when something doesn’t seem okay, I scream until it is again. I do not like closing my eyes to discover there is no music, lights, or people I know inside. I do not like being alone, being alone with Bron, finding myself in my bed alone, waking up in my car seat with no one in sight, the sound of silence. If I fall asleep listening to the beat of my mother’s heart, pacing...