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Swimming with Ghosts: A Novel

Swimming with Ghosts: A Novel

by Michelle Brafman
Swimming with Ghosts: A Novel

Swimming with Ghosts: A Novel

by Michelle Brafman


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From the acclaimed author of Washing the Dead and Bertrand Court comes a satirical and chilling, yet deeply-sensitive, tale that captures the ethos and ruin of children’s competitive swimming, where parents must face the haunting spirits of their own tumultuous upbringings or risk losing their way and—in turn—themselves.

It’s June 2012. The magical and slightly cultish River Run swim club is alive with the spirit of fun competition when a perfect storm brews between team moms and best friends, Gillian Cloud and Kristy Weinstein. The ghost of family addiction has turned up, looming over their carefully planned pasta parties, tie-dye nights, and pep rallies, forcing them to face their unresolved childhood trauma.

Gillian responds by trying to control everyone around her, while Kristy relapses into her dangerous addiction to love. Real sparks fly on the night of the derecho—a freak land hurricane—which sweeps through Northern Virginia, knocking out power for days. The storm ignites a tinder box of secrets, leaving Gillian and Kristy alone in the hot dark—their shame their only company.

At times humorous and devastating, Swimming with Ghosts is a hauntingly dark, yet uniquely tender story of the various entrapments of addiction and lingering trauma, and what it takes to overcome our hidden legacies of disgrace and discover a once unimaginable freedom made possible by confronting life’s greatest storms with the people closest to us.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684429561
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 06/13/2023
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook

About the Author

Michelle Brafman is the author of the novel Washing the Dead and Bertrand Court: Stories. She has received numerous honors for her fiction including a Special Mention in the XXIV Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of BooksSlateLitHubTablet, the Forward, and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing in the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing Program and has spoken about her work and the creative process at more than 150 venues, including bookstores, classrooms, and book groups across the country. Learn more at

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