Swimming for Sunlight

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Aspiring costume designer Katie gave up everything in her divorce to gain custody of her fearful, faithful rescue dog, Barkimedes. While she figures out what to do next, she heads back to Florida to live with her grandmother, Nan.

But Katie quickly learns there’s a lot she doesn’t know about Nan—like the fact that in her youth Nan was a mermaid performer in a roadside attraction show, swimming and dancing underwater with a close-knit cast of talented women. Although most of the mermaids have since lost touch, Katie helps Nan search for her old friends on Facebook, sparking hopes for a reunion show. Katie is up for making some fabulous costumes, but first, she has to contend with her crippling fear of water.

As Katie’s college love Luca, a documentary filmmaker, enters the fray, Katie struggles to balance her hopes with her anxiety and begins to realize just how much Bark’s fears are connected to her own, in this thoughtful, charming novel about hope after loss and friendships that span generations.

 

 

 

 

Praise

“Populated by vivid characters that include aging “mermaids” and a companion dog so endearing that I, a “cat person,” was tempted to go find my own Barkimedes, Swimming for Sunlight is a rare thing: an intelligent, compassionate, entertaining tale that satisfies both the heart and the head. I loved this book and everyone in it!”
Therese Anne Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of A Well-Behaved Woman 
“Poignant and funny, touching and eccentric, Swimming for Sunlight is brimming with heart. A gem of a novel that will charm not only dog lovers, but anyone, anywhere who’s ever felt a twinge of anxiety. In other words, all of us”
Tish Cohen, author of Town House 
“I loved every page of this beautiful, heartfelt book. Full of compassion, warmth, and charm, Larkin makes a complex story about anxiety and loss and female friendships at all ages feel both effortless and hopeful. I dare you not to hug this book when you finish.”
Julie Buxbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things 
“A heartfelt and bittersweet ode to taking the long-view of life when we fall short of our own expectations, to choosing courage and hope in the face of disappointment and tragedy. This book was just what my soul needed.”
Julia Whelan, author of My Oxford Year 
“Sweet, tender, and real, Allie Larkin’s work is funny, endearing, and simply lovely time and time again”
Taylor Jenkins Reid, bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo 
“A thoughtful, tender story about losing everything and starting all over again, Swimming for Sunlight reminds us of the joy that comes when we open our hearts to unexpected friendships.”
Ann Mah, author of The Lost Vintage
“In Swimming for Sunlight, Allie Larkin has written an absorbing, insightful tale of all the people and places in which we find strength. She’s created a world I’d love to live in, full of vividly rendered characters who are as complex and resilient as they are big-hearted and funny. There is nothing like a great story, well-told; this is Larkin’s specific expertise.”
-Caroline Angell, author of All the Time in the World

 

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StayPaperbackCover

Domestic

North American – Touchstone Books
Audio – Simon & Schuster Audio and Blackstone Audio