Swimming in the Dark

Swimming in the Dark

Book - 2014
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A psychological thriller that moves between New Zealand and Soviet dominated East Germany


In this river she is herself only. In this silken water, swimming through the deep, cold pockets and sun-warmed shallows, she is only skin.

German immigrants Gerda and Ilse Klein live sedate lives of seclusion and routine in a small New Zealand town. Both mother and daughter are affected by their memories of Leipzig, the city the family escaped from in the early 1980s while it was still under the rule of the Stasi. For Ilse, these memories are of a home and friends she loved and still longs for. For Gerda the memories bring the desperate depression which overwhelms her in the dark months of winter. But for now the women look forward to summer, with the promise of peace and rest as Ilse, now a teacher at the local high school, begins her weeks off. This expectation of peace is fractured when Ilse, while swimming in the local river, discovers Serena, one of the few students she has allowed herself to grow close to, alone, terrified and in the process of giving birth. Suspecting that Serena is a victim of abuse, Ilse and Gerda take her and her child into their home, a decision which becomes the catalyst for chan≥ but when Serena and her child come under threat from the man who brutalized and molested her, the women unite to protect them.

Publisher: Auckland, New Zealand : Upstart Press, 2014
ISBN: 9781927262054
Branch Call Number: FIC RICHA P


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Jul 07, 2014

Every small town has one: the family with a bad reputation. None of its members could ever amount to anything. There's the upright citizen who, of course is absolutely trustworthy. The importance of the school and its teachers. Add to the mix two immigrant women, mother and daughter, who have come to NZ to escape their life and memories of Eastern Germany and just want to live a quiet secluded life .Paddy Richardson has handled the subject matter of this novel very well indeed and proved that strong women do survive in spite of the odds .Although it is set in Alexandra,this could be any small town in New Zealand I first heard this book talked about on the radio and am glad I did .It's a very good book for mothers and teenage daughters about keeping safe.

Jun 26, 2014

A very good novel which I would recommend to anyone. I must now read all her other ones!

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