Steph Bowe is back. Night Swimming is a love story with a twist, and a whole lot of heart.
Imagine being the only two seventeen-year-olds in a small town. That’s life for Kirby Arrow named after the most dissenting judge in Australia’s history and her best friend Clancy Lee, would-be musical star.
Clancy wants nothing more than to leave town and head for the big smoke, but Kirby is worried: her family has a history of leaving. She hasn’t heard from her father since he left when she was a baby. Shouldn’t she stay to help her mother with the goat’s-milk soap-making business, look after her grandfather who suffers from dementia, be an apprentice carpenter to old Mr Pool? And how could she leave her pet goat, Stanley, her dog Maude, and her cat Marianne?
But two things happen that change everything for Kirby. She finds an article in the newspaper about her father, and Iris arrives in town. Iris is beautiful, wears crazy clothes, plays the mandolin, and seems perfect, really, thinks Kirby. Clancy has his heart set on winning over Iris. Trouble is Kirby is also falling in love with Iris…
About the Author
Steph Bowe was born in Melbourne in 1994 and now lives in Queensland. She has written two earlier YA novels: Girl Saves Boy and All This Could End. Steph is currently a Stella Prize Schools Ambassador for Queensland.
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"In real life, there's no such thing as happily ever after, there's just life passing day by day. After you ride off into the sunset, then you're just in the middle of nowhere on a horse at night, aren't you?"
Night Swimming is the third YA novel by Australian author, Steph Bowe. Everybody leaves Alberton. Seventeen-year-old Kirby Arrow can understand why kids leave: they have to go further afield for Years 11 and 12, and never seem to come back; her Grandma left (but returns intermittently); her dad left when she was still in nappies; her best friend Clancy Lee is still here, but only because he's doing Year 12 by correspondence and helping his parents out in the Purple Emperor. And he's dying to leave too, to pursue a career in musical theatre.
Kirby is still here because she doesn't want to leave her mum, Jess to run the family goats milk soap business with just cousin Nathan's help. And there's Grandpa (Cyril to most everyone), not getting any younger, who's maybe heading into dementia. And her pet goat, Stanley. So, without her mother's blessing, she's "subverting gender norms" and apprenticed herself to Mr Pool in his furniture-making enterprise.
Alberton's a small, inland town surrounded by farms: pub, Chinese restaurant, hairdresser, newsagency, IGA, vet, bakery. Everybody knows everybody (and all their business), so when an Indian restaurant, the Saffron Gate opens opposite the Purple Emperor, the whole town is talking. Clancy Lee is talking about "the Restauranteur's Daughter". When Kirby meets Iris, she's immediately smitten. Ditto, Clancy, who endeavours to impress by inviting Iris to participate in the pub musical they are (suddenly) staging.
Meeting Iris isn't the only thing affecting Kirby's equilibrium: Jess is talking about putting Cyril into care (no way!!); Kirby spots an article about her dad in the newspaper (after 17 years she finally knows where he is!!); someone is making crop circles on surrounding farms (aliens? Everyone suspects Clan
'Beautiful and fresh, Girl Saves Boy is full of the absolute truth-life is complicated. I could not put it down.' Rebecca Stead 'All This Could End could well be the most entertaining novel you would have read in a while.' Magpies Magazine 'She has an ease of style that makes you feel you are eavesdropping on a real conversation, not reading cleverly crafted lines of dialogue.' ABC Radio Central West 'A funny, diverse, authentic story of family, love, musicals, crop-circles and goats.' Lili Wilkinson 'Night Swimming is at once sweet and serious; a love-letter to outsiders, the kooky and complex-it's an ode to first times and best friends...but above all else, it's a reminder of how lucky we are to have a writer like Steph Bowe in our midst.' -- Danielle Binks Alpha Reader 'Steph Bowe's latest novel is the utterly charming story of two best friends, the small town they live in and the girl they both fall for. It is a tender and humorous tale of family ties, friendship and first love.' -- Erin Gough 'Night Swimming is a sweet story of coming of age, family and first requited love. There is a genuine-feeling desire in the story to see the good intentions in lightly sketched but complex characters, which gives the book a lot of heart. It will appeal to fans of realistic Australian YA and to readers searching for sweet and hopeful queer love stories.' Books + Publishing 'This bittersweet comedy of romantic misunderstanding, life management and family relations is poised at the emotional intersection between forgiveness and self-acceptance. Despite its whimsical tone, Night Swimming tackles serious themes of mental health, family upheaval and sexual coming-out with commendable delicacy and humanity.' Readings 'Night Swimming is full of adorable moments, a swoon-worthy and realistic romance and a diverse range of characters, this has got to be one of my favourite Aussie releases of 2017.' Written Word Worlds 'Brilliant and adorable and diverse and funny...Steph Bowe is basically my idol.' Loony Literate 'Night Swimming is absolutely glorious! A charismatic, delightful and amusing narrative of a small country town, falling in love and immense dreams. Categorically enchanting and captivating until the final page. The diversity of characters were wonderfully portrayed.' Diva Book Nerd 'I loved reading this. I ate it faster than a goat with a tasty golden slipper! The writing style and banter is honestly what I live for and Clancy and Kirby's friendship was so golden. Plus cute romance, delicious food, so much awesome awkward and all the coming-of-age fears and questions teens face which is just relatable.' Paper Fury 'This beautifully written coming-of-age story by Steph Bowe explores, with the gentlest of touches, big themes such as identity, friendship, loyalty and the power of love in its many guises, with intelligence and humour. A winner of a story that will keep you hooked to the very end.' Reading Time 'This is a story with a whole lot of heart and soul. A great representation of a multi-cultural community, LGBTI issues, first love and country spirit...A lovely Aussie YA read.' Kids Book Review 'Night Swimming is a quirky, adorable coming of age story featuring a lesbian main character. With complex family issues, an Indian love interest and a platonic male best friend, Night Swimming is a very real and relatable read that tackles diversity beautifully.' Happy Indulgence 'A gentle, heartfelt tale of first love, friendship and fear of change set in a small, inland country town south of Sydney...Bowe works quietly and perceptively through a range of believable situations.' Magpies
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 3rd April 2017
Publisher: Text Publishing Co
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 12.9 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.24