This is the second novel of Heigi's I've read, and I'm developing a serious writer-crush. This novel and Stones from the River are both set in the same fictional small town in Germany, and both feature some of the same characters. The main character in this book is a girl named Hanna. Trudi Montag, the focus of Stones from the River, figures again in this novel, but simply as the town gossip and a kind of mentor to Hanna.
But, as is generally the case with books I love, it's not the plot that matters here. It's Heigi's use of language and symbol. The title itself and the image it evokes floors me. Swimming is very important this time around, particularly Hanna's swimming outings with her mother. And of course, I'm busily worrying that attempting to explain the importance of swimming and water in this novel will break its spell. Suffice it to say that water has played a huge role in my life, and not always a passive, safe role. I'm sure that's true for many of you. Heigi's depiction of the river, both as a source of solace and pleasure and a danger, rings so very true to me.