The Art of Floating

The Art of Floating

4.6 9
by Kristin Bair O'Keeffe
     
 

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At a time when nothing seems real,
it takes something truly unusual to put your life into focus.

 
When her beloved husband Jackson disappeared without a trace, popular novelist Sia Dane stopped writing, closed down her house, stuffed her heart into a cage, and started floating. It wasn’t the normal response to heartache, but Sia

Overview

At a time when nothing seems real,
it takes something truly unusual to put your life into focus.

 
When her beloved husband Jackson disappeared without a trace, popular novelist Sia Dane stopped writing, closed down her house, stuffed her heart into a cage, and started floating. It wasn’t the normal response to heartache, but Sia rarely did things the normal way.

Exactly one year, one month, and six days after Jackson’s disappearance, Sia discovers a mysterious man on the beach. He’s mute, unresponsive, and looks as if he has just walked out of the sea. It’s the sort of situation Jackson would have solved with a simple call to the police. But Jackson is gone.
 
As unreal as he seems, Sia is determined to help this man. Perhaps she can return him to his place in the world—to whoever lost him and loves him. Perhaps she can answer their questions the way no one could answer hers.
 
But as her friends and family help her winnow her way to the truth, Sia comes to realize that the unfathomable leap between sorrow and healing begins with a single step.
 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Blending radiant language and a dreamlike journey through sorrow and healing, this is one to recommend to fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Eowyn Ivey.”—Booklist
 
“…the core plot of The Art of Floating is touching and delivers quite an emotional punch.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“With a touch as light as air, Bair O’Keeffe delivers a powerful punch. The Art of Floating is an emotional, sensitive novel about what causes pain and what defines loss, where “what really happened” floats somewhere between the realms of the real and the impossible. Sweet as a summer breeze, aching as a frozen sea, this story drifts through quirky wordplay, the small town drama of coastal New England, and the lure of detachment from one’s own mind, without losing its tether. One man is lost, one man is found—how on earth, or underwater, or in the air, did this come to be?”—Lydia Netzer, bestselling author of Shine, Shine, Shine
 
"A triumph. A treasure. Tender, profound, and hilariously heartbreaking.  A gorgeously magical story that will have you saying  "my favorite!" and then sharing it with everyone you know."—Hank Phillippi Ryan (Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425271483
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
1,205,946
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Blending radiant language and a dreamlike journey through sorrow and healing, this is one to recommend to fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Eowyn Ivey.”—Booklist
 
“…the core plot of The Art of Floating is touching and delivers quite an emotional punch.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“With a touch as light as air, Bair O’Keeffe delivers a powerful punch. The Art of Floating is an emotional, sensitive novel about what causes pain and what defines loss, where “what really happened” floats somewhere between the realms of the real and the impossible. Sweet as a summer breeze, aching as a frozen sea, this story drifts through quirky wordplay, the small town drama of coastal New England, and the lure of detachment from one’s own mind, without losing its tether. One man is lost, one man is found—how on earth, or underwater, or in the air, did this come to be?”—Lydia Netzer, bestselling author of Shine, Shine, Shine
 
"A triumph. A treasure. Tender, profound, and hilariously heartbreaking.  A gorgeously magical story that will have you saying  "my favorite!" and then sharing it with everyone you know."—Hank Phillippi Ryan (Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author)

Meet the Author

Kristin Bair O’Keeffe is the author of the novels The Art of Floating and Thirsty, as well as numerous essays about China, bears, and off-the-plot expats. She lives in Andover, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter and travels to anywhere as often as she can.

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The Art of Floating 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
O.O
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very intriguing and thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been introduced to magical realism in this book by Kristin Bair O'Keeffe. I find it intriguing this mix of fantasy and reality. I am a FAN!
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
THE ART OF FLOATING is an extraordinary and magical novel – a complex, deep and thought-provoking story of love, loss, and grief ---a state of mind, one of mere existing--a state of floating, a world of imagination, suspended to protect oneself from grief, and hurt---Coping without really living or accepting, unable to move on. Meaning of floating: “Having little or no attachment, not firmly placed or set or fastened, uncommitted, not bound or pledged, continually moving or changing position.” Sia, lost her husband, Jackson—disappearing when he goes out for coffee on a regular morning after a fun and sexy morning bet, while lounging in bed (who gets oral sex or goes for coffee)? One ordinary morning --- (Sia, Gumper, the dog, and Jackson). What would cause a happy man to leave for a coffee run; never to return? A little over a year later, novelist Sia (has been unable to write since the tragic day her husband left without a word) ---- discovers a beautiful man on the beach, dressed in a business suit, soaked, and mute----THE SILENT MAN. She takes him home and allows him to merely exist, calling him Toad. He never speaks or communicates. There is much controversy over this mysterious and gorgeous man, which expands worldwide in search of the history of this intriguing man. The novel goes back and forth from the days leading up to Jackson’s disappearance, their life and love to today. A personal novel of intimate feelings about two people, (this novel will make you laugh out loud, with the wit and sarcasm, sweet and erotic/sexy banter, off the wall jokes) through 171 chapters---as Sia recounts their poignant time together. Oh loved Sia’s parents, their engaging background, and her best friend Gillian (which keeps everyone on their toes). If you are looking for a quiet, mindless beach read—this book is not for you. If you are seeking a deep, thought- provoking, unconventional and imaginative novel, with writing which bounces all over the place---full of eccentric characters, and explores deep hidden feelings of the heart, soul, and mind ---this is your book. It is not a depressing book, as has so much humor and wit----a total page-turner! From quirky rhymes, poems, words floating all over the page, incredible usage of words, thoughts—O’Keeffe expresses her talent and a style which is rare---she tackles grief, and withdrawal, masterfully skilled at character development, plot planning, with wonderful lyrical prose. A captivating story, with intense feelings and suspense--- which builds until the end, leaving you dying to know more about these complex characters. I was transported with settings so realistic and feelings raw---holding your attention, no matter where the author leads you. She has control—the parallel with water was quite peaceful and its relation to floating, as well as the two lost souls, which are grieving. Would highly recommend the audiobook, as Kristin Bair O'Keeffe (Author), and Christina Traister (Narrator)—totally mesh for a dynamic duo, both understanding these well-drawn characters, for a stellar performance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a well written book with incredibly interesting and endearing characters. As their stores are developed you can't help but fall in love with them and all their quirky behaviors. This should be on everyones summer read list!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this author's writing style. I strongly recommendthis book. You will enjoy this read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally, a book with an original idea. Fast read. Hope the writer can do another book just as good. Get this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was lucky to get an advance copy at a local author reading and ended up reading it through the night. So many mysterious! So many well crafted characters! Lots of clever humor drawn from daily life. I strongly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is well written and started out with promise, however, it stalled around the middle and had a ridiculous ending. Not too realistic when a man sprouts gills and returns to the sea.