Swim to Me: A Novelby Betsy Carter
SOMETIMES THE PERSON YOU THINK YOU'VE INVENTED TURNS OUT TO BE JUST WHO YOU ARE.From SWIM TO ME:For their grand finale, all the mermaids gathered around a moon rock. One pulled an American flag from beneath her fin and planted it in the ground. A tinny version of "God Bless America" rose up through the amphitheater as the/i>
SOMETIMES THE PERSON YOU THINK YOU'VE INVENTED TURNS OUT TO BE JUST WHO YOU ARE.From SWIM TO ME:For their grand finale, all the mermaids gathered around a moon rock. One pulled an American flag from beneath her fin and planted it in the ground. A tinny version of "God Bless America" rose up through the amphitheater as the mermaids stood on their tails and saluted the flag.
Delores hoped nobody noticed the tears sliding down her cheeks. She stayed fixed in her seat, worried that if she stood up, she might break into pieces. There was no name for what she was feeling, only this certainty: whatever she had to do, wherever she had to go, one day Delores Walker would become one of those mermaids.
Carter follows her plucky New York journalist's memoir Nothing to Fall Back Onand first novel The Orange Blossom Specialwith another sweet story of self-reinvention. Delores Walker, 17, leaves her troubled home in the Bronx of 1973 to become a mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs in Tampa, Fla. There, in a series of fortuitous events, ugly duckling Delores becomes the star of the show, a local hero, the most popular girl in town (although she remains unfailingly nice) and the catalyst for an unlikely family reunion. Carter jumps from head to head without providing much insight into her characters, including the slimily manipulative and ambitious TV producer, Alan Sommers, and the gentle circus giant, T. Rex, who's little more than a vehicle for folksy wisdom. But Carter is less interested in character development than in storytelling, which she does with aplomb, as Delores faces fame-related conflicts, and resort owner Thelma Foote has wisdom to spare. The results are sensationalist, predictable and satisfying. (Aug.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
- Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.60(w) x 8.74(h) x 1.04(d)
- Age Range:
- 14 - 18 Years
What People are saying about this
More at home in the water than in the company of her own family, a young woman fulfills her unlikely dream of becoming a mermaid.
Welcome to Weeki Wachee Springs, located on the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida. Hailed as the City of Live Mermaids, the fabled Springs has been attracting tourists since 1947, but as of late, business is drying up. As if paying the bills, making constant repairs, and playing den mother and swim coach to a bunch of wayward teenage girls wearing fish tails isn't enough, Miss Thelma Foote now has to find a way to compete with the newly opened Walt Disney Resort and keep Weeki Wachee and its school of mermaids afloat.
It's a fresh start for Delores Walker when she steps off the bus in Tampa to become a minimum-wage mermaid. The family fights, the father who walked out on her, and the dingy Bronx apartment are a thousand miles behind her. With her arrival at Weeki Wachee, luck seems to change for everyone.
In the tradition of Rebecca Wells, Betsy Carter writes of family and sisterhood, of chasing dreams, and of finding your way as she conjures up a time in America when anything was possible—even mermaids from the Bronx.
Meet the Author
Betsy Carter is the author of Swim to Me and The Orange BlossomSpecial. Her memoir, Nothing to Fall Back On, was a national bestseller. She is a contributing editor for O: The Oprah Magazine and writes for Good Housekeeping, New York, and AARP, among others. Carter formerly served as an editor at Esquire, Newsweek, and Harper's Bazaar, and was the founding editor of New York Woman. She lives in New York City.
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In 1973, seventeen years old Delores Walker leaves her troubled family home in the Bronx. She takes the bus heading south where she obtains work as a mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida, which she believes is a miracle of sorts as she is not pretty.-------------------- Shockingly, Delores becomes the star somewhat because she is nice and displays enthusiasm in her work and somewhat her imagination with productions like the Merfather spoof brings in audiences who had been going toDisney. Her peers think she is the best and anyone who gets to know her feels likewise. TV producer Alan Sommers sees a chance to work with a human interest story angle on the most popular mermaid, but needs to muddy up the water perhaps with skeletons from the Bronx. Delores tries to remain true to her kind self as she becomes almost famous as a local TV ¿weatherwoman¿ and the invasion of the extended Walker family, but is grateful for wise mentoring by gentle circus giant T. Rex and mermaid attraction owner Thelma Foote.------------------- This is an entertaining character study held in focus by Delores, a likable star attraction. The caring Delores turns the lonely, slick and ambitious into being kinder and friendlier as everyone including readers (with the exception perhaps of her runaway father) feels her warmth and subsequently a need to change. Betsy Carter provides an uplifting historical that brings to life the impact of Disneyworld on 1970s Florida.------------ Harriet Klausner
Very enjoyable. It reminded me of Swamplandia and Like Water for Elephants. A unique story of a family that falls apart and has to rebuild itself. The Walkers will stay with you for awhile. Hard to put down.
I enjoyed this story. Agree with the other reviewer. Reminded me of Swamplandia. The story is about a young girl who leaves her mother and brother to become a mermaid in a swim show in Florida. It takes place during the 1970's. The characters are enjoyable and not offensive. Good read for the summer at the beach.
I don't think I would highly recommend this to anyone. While it was an ok story I found her ending was not satisfactory.
Didn't have much of a storyline and moved rather slow. I've actually visited Weeki Wachi a few times, and their description and my memories don't exactly match. Sorry, but it really wasn't worth the time.