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Lifeguarding: A Memoir of Secrets, Swimming, and the South
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Lifeguarding: A Memoir of Secrets, Swimming, and the South

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In her sharply observed and ultimately redemptive memoir, Catherine McCall paints a vivid and sometimes heartbreaking portrait of growing up in a complicated Southern family, whose perfect façade hides crippling imperfections.

There are two parents, three children, and five ghosts in the McCall family. With their preppie clothes and country-club smiles, the McCalls look lik
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Crown (first published 2006)
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Visha Burkart
Catherine McCall was an MFA'er at UNCW and certain aspects of her style remind me of the things I was taught in that program - for example, the "found" material she uses on her chapter openings - excerpts from a life-guarding manual. They worked well with the book and its material and were not too distracting.

What was distracting about this book were the constant hints and reminders within the narrative that the author/protagonist had "a secret". If you pay any attention whatsoever to the text,
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Renee Holt
This is a beautifully written book! I had a hard time putting it down. It is an incredibly touching story of a close family and a child who grows up realizing that she is gay. Perhaps because the author and I are the same skin color and around the same age (and I am also gay), I could relate to this book well. But what made it enjoyable and moving is how beautiful the author writes. I highly recommend it.
Fran
I'm glad I didn't read any reviews or summaries before starting this book. I would recommend it to anyone who likes memoirs, especially those about bildungsroman.

I preferred to have the secret revealed to me by the author.
Debbe
I had to read this one. The author is from Louisville and she swam at Lakeside. Local references made it fun. My only complaint is that economic circumstances probably weren't as bleak as she make them out to be. It does show how alcohol can scar a family.
Erika
A memoir that isn't as self-absorbed as most. The author seems to write honestly and sincerely without casting others as bad guys and herself as a hero. It's a story of a girl who is sensitive and perceptive and a little different, not just trying to be.
Laura Mallard
This was a good book but it wasn't what I expected. I thought it was a book about sexual abuse but instead it was about a family dealing with an alcoholic and the author's coming out story. It was an engrossing read.
Kari Hayes
a great memoir for anyone who is thinking of coming out, or has come out, or for a family member of an LGBT person. truthful and honest.
B. Lynn Goodwin
Jan 08, 2010 B. Lynn Goodwin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in family dynamics and survivors
Unique, strong story about breaking through dysfunction. Lifeguarding is a fascinating metaphor in this one.
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