In her sharply observed and ultimately redemptive memoir, Catherine McCall paints a vivid and sometimes heartbreaking portrait of growing up in a complicated Southern family, whose perfect façade hides crippling imperfections.
There are two parents, three children, and five ghosts in the McCall family. With their preppie clothes and country-club smiles, the McCalls look like all the other East End Louisville families. No one knows there are problems, that an internal gash the size of the Ohio river is flooding the family. All Cathy and her siblings can do is promise to stick together no matter what—and swim.
But even though they are fast, the McCall kids can’t outdistance their father’s destructive habits and their mother’s worry. As her family reaches a breaking point and an unexpected love blooms, thirteen-year-old Cathy finds she must keep secrets of her own. Though the love in this family is strong, Cathy must discover if it’s tenacious enough to withstand the truth.
Candid, captivating, and infused with compassion, Lifeguarding affirms the flexible strength of love itself; how family bonds must often bend to the point of breaking . . . and beyond.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Lifeguarding|
|Release Date: 07-11-2006|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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Lifeguard candidates are taught that their first concern is the safety of others. —American Red Cross Lifeguarding, p. 3
Coach stopped us in the middle of swim practice and told us to go sit on the bleachers. At first I thought he was planning to chew us out, which would've been out of character-a set of eight hundreds fly-free was more his style of communicating.
Swim practice was never stopped for any reason, other than lightning, and even then it had to be close enough for Coach to feel the current on the pier. Our team swam outdoors when the water was sixty-three degrees, in the first few weeks of May before the official summer opening of Lakeside, when rumor said they filled the quarry with river water from the Ohio. We swam when it was raining, when it was strangely blustery for August, and on red-alert pollution days, too, when the air was so thick, you could practically carry it in your hands. Today, plaques of ruffled clouds had turned the sky a light ash color but no thunder bowled by, no rain fell, there was no real sign of a summer storm at all.
The twelve lifeguards stood in their chairs and blew their whistles in unison to clear the quarry of all recreational swimmers. Everyone was looking toward the back part of the lake, except me. Without my glasses I couldn't see ten feet in front of my face. Water dripping from my head and bathing suit, I shuffled to the bleachers, wrapped the towel around my body to hide it, then slipped on my wire-rim glasses. At thirteen, I didn't like being round and curvy, hated that my breasts were getting so big, that I was chunk