The Swimmers

The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka begins by exploring a group of swimmers from all walks of life who frequent a local pool, documenting their idiosyncrasies and hinting at their lives outside of their lanes. When a mysterious crack appears in the smooth bottom of the pool, however, the swimmers are cast out and the narrative shifts to focus on just one of the swimmers, Alice, and her struggles with dementia. The book is a mythical, dreamy, and deeply moving meditation on memory and how the quotidian details of our lives have more weight than we often realize.