The Night Swimmer
By Matt Bondurant
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781451625295, 288pp.)
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
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From the “remarkable storyteller” ( San Francisco Chronicle ) and highly acclaimed author of The Wettest County in the World comes a suspenseful novel about a young American couple who win a pub on the southernmost tip of Ireland and become embroiled in local violence and intrigue.
Matt Bondurant’s novel The Wettest County in the World was a New York Times Editor’s Pick, one of the San Francisco Chronicle ’s 50 Best Books of the Year, and is being made into a major motion picture. Now, Bondurant has delivered The Night Swimmer, an atmospheric tale infused with Hitchcockian suspense.
When Fred and Elly Bulkington arrive in a small town on the southern coast of Ireland from Vermont, having won a pub in a contest, they encounter a wild, strange land and the native resistance to outsiders. As Fred immerses himself in the life of a pub-owner, Elly takes the ferry out to a nearby island where she—to the disbelief of the locals—is consumed by her ritual of open water ocean swimming, pushing herself to the limits. Elly becomes enmeshed in the island’s troubles—the power struggles between an enigmatic goat herder and the family that has controlled the area for centuries—while Fred’s sanity wavers and their marriage begins to unravel.
Filled with lush imagery of the Irish coast, crashing sea, rolling hills, and rich Irish lore, The Night Swimmer is a stunning novel that exposes the dark and unseen crevasses in the human heart.
Matt Bondurant is the author of three novels, the most recent of which is The Night Swimmer. Lawless—previously published as The Wettest County in the World—was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s 50 Best Books of the Year. His first novel, The Third Translation, was an international bestseller, translated into fourteen languages worldwide. He currently teaches literature and writing in the Arts and Humanities graduate program at the University of Texas at Dallas.