Swimming Home

Jenny Turner writes:

The swimming pool we all know, blue and rectangular. And the body, ‘floating near the deep end, where a line of pine trees kept the water cool in their shade’. The family around it, Joe Jacobs the father, Isabel the mother and Nina the teenage daughter; Mitchell and Laura, the family friends invited on holiday with them. ‘Is it a bear?’ Joe asks, half-jokingly; the party has been discussing a news story about a bear that walked down from the hills one day to take a dip in a Hollywood actor’s pool. But Nina can see that it’s ‘a woman swimming naked … on her stomach, both arms stretched out like a starfish, her long hair floating like seaweed at the sides of her body’. So far, so calm and regular. And yet, I can already feel panic rising in me. Always, already and for ever, events have slipped completely out of control.

(LRB 27 September 2012)

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