Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In the Water They Can't See You Cry: A Memoir” as Want to Read:
In the Water They Can't See You Cry: A Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In the Water They Can't See You Cry: A Memoir

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,374 ratings  ·  176 reviews
In this candid and ultimately uplifting memoir, Olympic medalist Amanda Beard reveals the truth about coming of age in the spotlight, the demons she battled along the way, and the newfound happiness that has proved to be her greatest victory.

At the tender age of fourteen, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and l
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Gallery Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In the Water They Can't See You Cry, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In the Water They Can't See You Cry

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,374 ratings  ·  176 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Darby Douglas
Dec 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I wrote an essay about how Amanda Beard was my hero in fifth grade. I wanted to be just like her; dominating the Olympics at the age of fourteen as a breaststroker. And reading this book now, I have something else to admire her for. She is an inspiration to anyone who's battled inner demons or who has suffered the early monring stress of being a swimmer. (Role models don't get any better than that!)
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, library
The memoir of Amanda Beard is a page turner and while it was completely open and honest I still felt distance from her. Almost as if she fears what the reader will think. She let us in but, I felt she was still holding back. This is also how she lived day to day never one to talk out her issues. Finally in the end (the last few chapters) you can almost see the wall come down as she heals.
Amazing that you can appear to have it all and have nothing at the same time. Be such a likeable person but
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
I give Amanda Beard credit for sharing her story but I felt the memoir read more like a diary entry of bad relationships and the swimming was an after thought. She talks about swimming in the very beginning of the book when she was young and how it shaped her, but really the insight into to her childhood swimming is about the extent of her delving into her swimming life. She divulges that she was bulimic and cutting herself, but most of the time it reads: Oh and by the way, I was still cutting m ...more
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
“All swimming meets are boring. Even the Olympics,” says Amanda Beard in her recently released memoir “In the Water They Can’t See You Cry.” While Beard does recount her experiences at four past Summer Olympics, the main part of this compelling book is about her struggles with cutting and bulimia. I had intended only to skim the book as I reviewed it for this column; however her story of struggling and overcoming is so engaging I looked up two hours later having read the entire book! As a child ...more
Amy Moritz
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Let me say this, I didn't know how messed up Amanda Beard was. Really, I mean that as a compliment. Because from my view as a fan (and a person who interviewed and met her once) she seemed perfect, charmed and slightly aloof. This was a powerful memoir of a female athlete who had success early and sustained it, but with difficulty. She reveals her inner demons, mostly in the form of self-doubt and body issues. I never would have thought that the famed and celebrated Olympic swimmer who posed in ...more
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I have to be really honest, I was disappointed with this book. When I saw Ms. Beard on Dr. Phil, I thought this book was going to be a "I made it through the rain" type of book and lessons learned for our young women who are under a ton of pressures for multiple reasons. It wasn't. Instead, I found a really discombobulated book that rarely touched on deep emotions, but at other times, was incredibly superficial in its' presentation. I think that Ms. Beard has the potential to serve as a role mod ...more
Paul Pessolano
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
“in the water they can’t see you cry” by Amanda Beard with Rebecca Paley, published by Touchstone Books.

Category – Memoir

Most of us remember Amanda Beard from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. She was the cute fourteen year old who won two silver medals and one gold medal.

None of us were aware of what it took for her to get there and the consequences that plagued her due to her youth and notoriety.

Amanda was just having fun in 1996, but that all turned dark when she became a fourteen year old celebrity
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I chose this book because I am doing a challenge for 2019 to read (listen) to book genre's I don't normally read. I wanted to do one about an athlete. Kinda wish I hadn't listened to this one.

I will put this note: Reading it probably would have been better because the actor who read this made Amanda's voice very unsympathetic and sort of annoying. I often found myself dissecting what was really being said - as when I HEARD it, I found myself disliking Amanda.

I also find that people in their 30's
Corinne Edwards
Do you know Amanda Beard? If you watched the 1996 Olympics the way I did, you would know her - the 14 year old swimmer who ended up on the medal stand three times. This book is her story - her journey as a swimmer and as the girl BEYOND the swimmer. Open and sometimes brutally honest, Amanda takes us behind the scenes at the Olympics, at the training pool and in her private life.

My daughter actually checked this out at the library, but she didn't have a chance to read it before heading to camp
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book made me very sad to read. Amanda, an Olympic swimmer and winner of several medals in her 5 appearances in the games, writes candidly about her life and struggles. The same intensity which drove her to win in the pool also drove her reckless lifestyle as a self-proclaimed "adrenalin junkie." She is frank about her drug and alcohol use, unhealthy/dysfunctional relationships with family members and lovers, body image issues, bulimia, cutting, and depression. Anyone who has struggled with ...more
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Since a young age, Amanda Beard has been one of my swimming idols, and I always looked up to her as a swimmer. After reading her memoir and learning about the hardships she has had to overcome, I now look up to her as a person as well. She had to deal with her parents' divorce at an early age and escape emotionally abusive relationships, but what really hit home for me was how she dealt with her low self-esteem in the years after her first Olympics. I completely empathized with her need for rele ...more
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the Water They Can't See You Cry was a fantastic read! The story began with Amanda in her younger years, during summer, a blazing day in Irvine, CA; she was running from her house in a nice suburban neighborhood to the local pool, open to surrounding houses. This is where it all started for Amanda, she swan day after day, even when school began, she practiced hard and loved every minute of it. However, one day after she and her dad had returned from a vacation weekend, they opened the door to ...more
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
I wasn't going to read this book because it sounded awfully depressing ... but then I wanted a fast read and this fit the bill. I finished it in less than 24 hours.

I thought this book would be exactly like other biographies I've read of other female athletes (like Chalked Up and Pretty Good For A Girl). It was similar (talent at young age, life-consuming training, family issues, wins, losses, problems leaving the sport, marriage, children). What made it different was the extent of her family iss
Dec 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is very honest, ironically, about Amanda's mindset, ambitions, drive; I found Amanda to be highly self-absorbed, rude, needy and selfish. Passive aggressiveness is still malicious. And in her case, she painted many events *instigated* by her as being events where she remained the victim, who needed to be sympathized with.

There are no rules or boundaries of relationships for her, and I assume that might be just how her family was as well. The way she burned her old relationships and made sure
Lauren Hopkins
Apr 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Very quick read about the life of a four-time Olympic swimmer. I will start by saying that I was maybe a tiny bit disappointed because I thought it was going to be more about training and competing at a high level but it felt like there was more about boyfriends than anything else. The swimming details are great and there's a lot of insight into that part of Beard's life, so don't get me wrong, and obviously her boyfriends were a big part of her life, I know swimming isn't everything. But someth ...more
Rachel Wagner
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
As a person there is much to admire in Amanda Beard's story. Addiction is such a horrible disease and anyone who can claw their way out of it deserves applause and praise. Her achievements as a swimmer are also amazing.

That said- did not enjoy this book. From the beginning Beard paints herself as a very unlikable character. From describing the Olympics and swimming as 'boring' and a drag to endless accounts of her miserable boyfriends, she came across as whining and annoying. I got the feeling
Chelsea Erceg
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Amanda Beard's memoir of her life in, and out, of a swimming pool is one that I feel all adolescent females (and males, for that matter) should take time to read. She shares her struggles with body image, abusive relationships, and depression, becoming a role model and voice for those who are suffering from the same issues and scared to reach out. Although from our couches and computer chairs she seemed to live a perfect life, much more was going on under the surface. It was eye opening to learn ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have no idea what made me pick up this book - could be because I remember seeing her swim as a 4 year old. I also remember the next time I saw her swim - something about the way her coy smile and piercing blue eyes when she looked up realized she did well.

Reading the snyopsis of her book, I was kind of drawn to experience her stuggles with her anger and or emotional issues. (could be because I haven't seen a lifetime movie in quite some time) At any rate, great story of struggle, strife and ov
Michelle Garcia
I was looking forward to an inspiring story of an Olympic swimmer who fought her demons head on and came out on top. I was unbelievably disappointed.

I grew weary of her back-to-back stories of bad relationships, bad decisions, self-esteem issues, bulimia, etcetera. It was so bad for me I put the book away and didn't want to continue reading it. It was sad and depressing. A year later I decided bite the bullet and finish it.

Finally, a moment when I felt a sigh of relief, she went to a psycholog
Despite the length of this memoir, I walked away not feeling as though I knew Beard any better than I did before. Overall the main issue with the book was the writing, it was rather shallow and contained some of my pet peeves (such as using "could care less" repeatedly). There was far too little insight into the swimming world and the Olympics. Instead the focus of the book was Beard's relationships, which were not terribly healthy or interesting. Ultimately the book lacks depth in detail and wr ...more
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: amanda-beard
I have mixed feelings about this book. I really applaud the way Amanda overcame her hurdles and came out a true winner both in profession and in personal life. But, certain things like boyfriend situation I felt it was more blame game, or being in playboy magazine etc I was not really thrilled to read. All in all I admire her for how she turned into in the end. I think most of the credit goes to her husband Sasha

I really liked this one. I was clueless that Amanda went through so much and was so insecure. She was brutally frank with her life this far, amazing considering that often she didn't portray herself in a good light. It seems like she is in a good place right now with her life, one can only hope that she stays there.
May 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
The book was lackluster. It was more about her temper and Olympic experiences than her struggle with depression and self injury. The opening scene sets up the book, but is quickly deflated. Not the best memoir.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was interesting to read and well written, but I came away with an intense dislike for Amanda. She's selfish, whiny, and I couldn't stand her inability to stand up for herself. I also couldn't believe how self centered she seemed.
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great read. We all admire those in the spotlight but don't stop to think that they are human beings with unbelievable pressures put on them to perform. This is a touching memoir of one of the United States most inspiring swimmers.
Oct 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Hard to feel sorry for a beautiful, talented woman with a supportive family. If being obsessed about a sport and making bad boyfriend choices is enough to warrant writing a memoir, I might have enough material for one myself (sarcasm).
Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
As an ex-swimmer, I loved learning more about Amanda's story. And there's some great behind the scenes information about the Olympics.

A good pick for people interested in swimming and/or the Olympics.
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
it is amazing how people seem so perfect on the outside when they are dying on the inside. beautifully written
May 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
The more I read, the less I liked Amanda. I don't think that's the effect the book was supposed to have on me.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
(view spoiler) ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life
  • Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams
  • Golden Girl: How Natalie Coughlin Fought Back, Challenged Conventional Wisdom, and Became America's Olympic Champion
  • Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life
  • 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder: Effective Strategies from Therapeutic Practice and Personal Experience
  • Solitaire: The Compelling Story of a Young Woman Growing up in America and Her Triumph over Anorexia
  • Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams
  • Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me
  • Solo: A Memoir of Hope
  • Being Ana: A Memoir of Anorexia Nervosa
  • I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD
  • Swim: Why We Love the Water
  • I'm Here To Win: A World Champion's Advice for Peak Performance
  • Off Balance
  • Starving for Attention: A Young Woman's Struggle with and Triumph Over Anorexia Nervosa
  • Devoted: The Story of a Father's Love for His Son
  • Passion on the Vine: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Family in the Heart of Italy
  • Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer
See similar books…
“Sometimes success is simply being willing to give it your all.” 7 likes
“The more I added to my schedule, cleaning regimen, or athletic training, the less I felt. My coping mechanism won most people's approval. Adults were unusually impressed. Who doesn't like a kid with a serious work ethic? One of my biggest flaws turned into my best asset. A hard worker. Determined. Unstoppable. Tireless.” 4 likes
More quotes…