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Swimming with Strangers

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
This Life She's Chosen, Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum's acclaimed debut story collection hailed as "haunting and inspired" by The Boston Globe introduced readers to her penetrating and delicate voice. In eight new stories, Lunstrum further explores the nuances and complexities of women's relationships with their lovers, friends, and families in a new collection. Authentic, pro ...more
Hardcover, 197 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Chronicle Books (first published April 3rd 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ali
Jul 29, 2008 Ali rated it it was amazing
I admit that the cover is what drew me to the book. A woman stands waist deep in a large body of water as a storm rages overhead; she’s soaking wet despite the bright red umbrella she clings to.

Then the title popped out: Swimming with Strangers. Those three simple words symbolized so much next to this image of a solitary woman. When I got home with the book, only moments passed before I was curled up with it, the promise of wordplay at hand.

The talent evident in Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum’s colle
...more
Shaina
Dec 15, 2016 Shaina rated it it was ok
I'd say maybe I'm not a fan of short story collections. This book made me feel bad all of the time, which isn't very accurate for life. Even the most horrible stories have a glimpse of 'healthy' love and kindness in them. It wasn't that these stories were heartbreaking either, rather they were sad and drab. They made me feel like a smoggy day in downtown LA. One reviewer stated that "things almost happen then they don't," which irked me probably. A couple of the stories were good but overall I w ...more
Indigo Editing/Ink-Filled Page
I admit that the cover is what drew me to the book. A woman stands waist deep in a large body of water as a storm rages overhead; she’s soaking wet despite the bright red umbrella she clings to.

Then the title popped out: Swimming with Strangers. Those three simple words symbolized so much next to this image of a solitary woman. When I got home with the book, only moments passed before I was curled up with it, the promise of wordplay at hand.

The talent evident in Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum’s colle
...more
Alea
Dec 13, 2008 Alea rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-review
I love short stories and thought I'd gotten used to the fact that sometimes they just fade to an ending without anything concrete happening to end the story. Maybe I've had enough of that because I was really hoping for something to happen at the ending of each of these instead of them just ending. Maybe I need a break from short stories?

So because of that I guess this collection was just ok for me. Some of the stories did stand out for me more than others including: Dangerous Women, about a co
...more
Ashley
Jul 01, 2010 Ashley rated it really liked it
I adored this book. It is a collection of short stories that all take a very close look at the, "nuances and complexities of women's relationships with their lovers, friends, and families," (back cover). It's difficult to explain why each story felt like a precious gift to me. I believe it has something to do with the way the endings are anti climactic, but in a way that doesn't leave the reader hanging. Instead they reminded me of real life. Of how things are never wrapped up nicely in neat lit ...more
Clifford
Feb 19, 2009 Clifford rated it liked it
I remember reading "Familial Kindness" when it appeared in One Story. At the time I thought it was a bit of a puzzle, but it seems to fairly standard for Lunstrum's stories. I'm not a fan of clear resolutions, but these stories seem end ambiguously in a big way. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but for me is less than satisfying. I found motivations of characters to be something of a puzzle, as well. Not that they behaved improbably, just that within the story it wasn't always clear why they ...more
Jocelyn
Mar 30, 2014 Jocelyn rated it really liked it
great book, I like this set of stories better than the first. novellas are fantastic:) her use of water is moving and beautiful:)
Brian
Jun 29, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it
I left this book on a plane. :( I was really enjoying it, too...What I did get to read of it showed a really well paced writer.
Vivienne Strauss
Jan 15, 2015 Vivienne Strauss rated it it was amazing
I love when I pull a random book off the library's shelf and discover gold! Beautiful, sometimes haunting stories that leave you wanting more.
Jenna Briand
Jul 02, 2008 Jenna Briand rated it really liked it
I am loving this collection of short stories so far. Water is the connecting thread from story to story, and the author beautifully captures the essence of quiet, life-transforming moments in each.
Kathy
Kathy rated it liked it
Jul 06, 2010
g
g rated it it was amazing
Aug 21, 2009
James
James rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2009
Rebecca
Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2010
Cathy Serpico
Apr 06, 2010 Cathy Serpico rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous stories, like watching emotions under a microscope.
Janet
Janet rated it liked it
Dec 17, 2015
Katrina
Katrina rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2011
Danielle Villano
Danielle Villano rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2012
John
Sep 21, 2010 John rated it it was ok
Well-crafted, but dull. Lacks that extra spark.
Shannon
Shannon rated it it was ok
Nov 12, 2009
Kary Glawe
Kary Glawe rated it it was ok
May 30, 2011
Kiera
Kiera rated it it was ok
Jul 26, 2010
Kristin
Kristin rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2009
James
James rated it really liked it
Aug 06, 2015
Natasha
Natasha rated it liked it
Sep 01, 2008
Jen Dupree
Jen Dupree rated it really liked it
Dec 19, 2012
Lydia
Lydia rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2011
Lisa
Lisa rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2008
Jessica Schulte
Jessica Schulte rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2012
Kate
Kate rated it liked it
Jun 28, 2011
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