Swimming pool

That sinking feeling: The Swimmers, by Julie Otsuka, reviewed

Julie Otsuka has good rhythm, sentences that move to a satisfying beat. Even as her tone shifts — from tender to funny to cynical to sinister — the beat goes on uninterrupted. In this, her third novel, the narrative has a steady flow. The Swimmers traces the cracks that develop in an underground pool, and in a woman’s mind, and the slow and unavoidable deterioration of both. It opens with an introduction to the pool that reads like a guided tour from the swimmers themselves. We learn about their rituals: ‘Some of us have to swim 100 laps every day, others… until the bad thoughts go away (Sister Catherine, lane