To Swim Beneath the Earth

To Swim Beneath the Earth

by Ginger Bensman


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MEGAN KIMSEY, born and raised in a small Colorado town on the edge of the La Plata Mountains, grows up haunted by images. Straddling cryptic glimpses of events that foretell her own future, and events remembered from a past in the highlands of Ecuador and Peru more than 400 years before she was born, she must challenge her Catholic upbringing and the stigma of a mental breakdown following a childhood tragedy, before she can strike out on a quest for meaning.

Megan's story shifts between present tense and flashbacks that recount her nervous breakdown and grief, when, as a teenager, a child she loves freezes to death on the family's front porch. And later, when her father, the one person who believes her strange visions aren't hallucinations, dies in a hit-and-run accident. His death and the belated birthday gift he leaves for her, launch her on a quest to face her phantoms and piece together the riddles in her dreams.

Megan's journey leads her to South America and an expedition among the remnants of the Inca Empire, and finally, to a wind-swept outcropping high atop Cotopaxi Mountain in search of the frozen child she sees in her dreams. Accompanied by a team of archeologists and an indigenous woman of wisdom who becomes her mentor and guide, Megan must confront her ghosts and claim her own redemption.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780996295703
Publisher: Horn Rimmed Editions
Publication date: 07/22/2015
Pages: 356
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

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To Swim Beneath the Earth 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
DavidRose More than 1 year ago
Exotic as a falling feather from a winged serpent, this book hypnotizes the reader into living in a world other than the one we have assumed we knew. "It's a wonder any of us are anywhere," is a throwaway observation Megan makes at one point, yet profound. The dead and the living are potentially present in any moment, or on any page. Subtle as a slow tide, gentle as a mother's soothing touch good night, Ginger Bensman slips the reader into Megan's skin. We become the girl, the woman, living with random touches of deja vu from an other life, a former incarnation. High on adventure, with reckless courage - or feeling an irresistible need to close the circle - we trace the links back. The writing is demanding, textured, immersive. Readers accustomed to light entertainment will struggle to get into the story - but be assured, it is absolutely worth the effort. Characterization is superb, Megan's family showing the quality here from the opening. The pace begins at a gentle meander, but the coils tighten steadily, and we strain, breathless, through the last quarter of the book. This book is one of very few that I would consider comparable to, say, Mark Helprin's 'Winter's Tale', or William Horwood's 'Skallagrigg' - except that I'm not sure that the comparison should not rather be the other way around. 'To Swim Beneath the Earth' is much more tightly written than Mark Helprin's usual sprawling style. Perhaps Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go' is comparable, or Barbara Kingsolver's magnificent The Poisonwood Bible'. In seeking to turn the reader into a living reincarnation Ginger Bensman does not merely succeed, she triumphs. Very highly recommended - but make sure you have the time to yourself to properly enjoy this exceptional book. *I was given this ebook in exchange for an honest and objective and non-reciprocal review.*
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
To Swim Beneath the Earth, Ginger Bensman Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre:  Literary Fiction   Well, one of the best things for me about the whole E-Book phenomenon is the way its brought out so many fabulous books from authors that may not have had a chance in the old way, where it was mostly established authors and new ones were rarely seen, unless publishers convinced they were money spinners. Now there's a host of small publishers spawned, taking risks, using the cheaper eBooks route to try out stories before going all out  for print versions. they’re giving new authors a chance to get their works out, and along with those brave souls who go the self publishing route, giving us readers a fantastic array of stories that ,maybe wouldn’t have seen the light of day before. It took JK Rowling many many rejections before someone took a chance. What if she’d given up after the first, the fifth or the tenth one? Its still not easy to get your book out but at least getting it published by the eBook route  and seen by readers  is proving easier. That's great for authors and for readers like me who devour books, read every day.   So, this story is amazing, a debut book which is so well written, so absorbing and polished, that its hard to believe its a first book. The story itself is so intriguing, marrying the present with the possibilities of past lives. I so felt for Megan, always seen as a bit odd, with a mum who wanted the psychiatrist to convince her it was all in her head, she just couldn’t deal with the possibilities of anything else. Thankfully her dad did though, and he encouraged her to talk to him, to explore the ideas she had, and to keep notes even as a young child.  Now he’s died, she’s lost her lifeline, but he’s left her one last thing, a ticket to a conference where the world she’s been dreaming of – not just at night but in sort of time slips during the day – is to be the subject. Her family are horrified, want her to stay away, worry that its encouraging her “obsession” as they see it, and accuse her of being selfish. She knows though she just has to take this chance to find out more, to see if her dreams are rooted in anything real.   Its an intriguing prospect, reincarnation. I’ve always felt from a very young child that its possible, though I’ve never had any reason to- just something inside me I guess. That made it easy for me to believe in Megan, to want to follow where she led, and what a journey it was. Its a wonderful read, veering from past to present but always in a format where its simple to follow,easily understood, not one where I am lost, floundering to see if I'm in the past or present. I loved the characters we met. from Megan herself, the obnoxious doctor her mum took her to as a child and still relied on, to the people she met on her journey, the abrasive Corbin, to Eduardo ( swoon) and of course the enigmatic Koyam, and the very young girl they met when her father was dying. She was such a sad figure and so self contained, I can’t help wondering what would happen to her in the future. To me that's the mark of a good read, when I care about the characters and feel as if they are real. I loved the descriptions of the land and people, both past and present and the way the story of Megan’s dreams gradually expanded, how the sceptical Corbin kept looking for rational explanations. Its a story to treasure and to re read. I love too that its a stand alone, a story wit
indiebrag More than 1 year ago
We are proud to announce that TO SWIM BENEATH THE EARTH by Ginger Bensman is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
Daniel_Chong More than 1 year ago
Before I give my review I wish to express my strong sentiment for the author’s writing skill. I have rarely read a novel so meticulously written. Ginger crafts her words carefully like a master craftsman—elegant and yet understated. It reminded me of a quiet stream, it doesn’t require attention but rather trust you to find the story. There are times I was actually studying and rereading sentences from her novel, not because they are confusing but because I was trying to learn from her and that is something I rarely do unless I like the novel. Authors like Charles Frazier, David Wroblewski and Paulo Coelho comes to mind and I have just added Ginger Bensman to that list. Now for the novel: To Swim Beneath The Earth is a story about Megan Kimsey, a young woman haunted by cryptic visions of her own past and events that kept recurring in the highlands of Ecuador and Peru. But these are no ordinary events; they occurred 400 years ago. Something inexplicable happened in the past ties her fate to the present. What could it be? The clues might be hidden in her father’s death. But first Megan must confront her mother whom for a long time believed that her daughter was suffering from a psychological disorder. Determined to overcome her personal tragedy, Megan sets off on a quest to unravel her past. Her journey brought her to the highlands where she meets an Inca family. Megan encountered more visions but this time she discovered a hidden talent. Her discovery leads to more obstacles. More questions arise. Now, Megan must confront her ultimate fear, against all odds she finds hope and something extraordinary. I concluded my review by giving this book a 5 Stars rating and recommended it to anyone. I look forward to more books by Ginger Bensman.