Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons : Life Lessons from the Pool, from Diving in to Treading Water

4.45 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
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At age forty-four, Penelope Niven was at a turning point in her life. In need of a change for both body and spirit, she decided to learn how to swim. While discovering the restorative effect of the water, she also began to notice that the lessons she was learning in the pool drew remarkable parallels with the lessons of life. The way in which you first get into the water, for example, is similar to trying anything new-you can jump in feet first, or dive in headfirst, but first you have to have some idea of what you're actually getting into. From floating to treading water, forward strokes to the backstroke, Swimming Lessons combines the familiar lessons of swimming with personal anecdotes and apt observations to stirring effect. Sensible, touching, and personal, this appealing book will be invaluable to any reader facing a life change or simply looking for a little bit of inspiration. A Harvest Original
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Product details

  • Paperback | 195 pages
  • 137.16 x 185.42 x 17.78mm | 204.12g
  • United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156027070
  • 9780156027076
  • 1,166,369

Flap copy

At age forty-four, author Penelope Niven was at a crossroads: she felt that her life was slipping by with long-held dreams still unrealized. In desperate need of a change for both body and spirit, she decided to face her fears and learn how to swim. Little did she know what a profound effect those swimming lessons would have. For as Niven relished in the healing powers of water, she also discovered something very surprising: each skill she learned in the pool offered a striking parallel in how to live.
Floating, treading water, or swimming with all your might: these are simple yet eloquent metaphors for stages we all face in life. It can be more dangerous to dive into shallow water-to simply settle for easy and comfortable choices-than to plunge into the depths of the unknown. And sometimes, in life as in swimming, you cannot breathe when you want to, you simply have to take a breath when you can.
In Swimming Lessons, Penelope Niven shares these and other remarkable insights, illustrated with intimate stories, as well as charming and hilarious anecdotes. Beautifully written, filled with heartfelt lessons shared with a keen dose of humor and Southern charm, this is a book for anyone facing a life change or simply looking for a bit of inspiration.
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Back cover copy

This is not just a book about learning to swim.
It is a book about learning to live.
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Review quote

"Niven writes with a clear, lyrical voice."--THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"Wonderfully written ... Graceful, elegant, and satisfying."--THE WASHINGTON POST
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About Penelope Niven

PENELOPE NIVEN has written biographies of Carl Sandburg, James Earl Jones, and Edward Steichen. She lives in Winston- Salem, North Carolina, where she is the writer-in-residence at Salem College.
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Rating details

20 ratings
4.45 out of 5 stars
5 65% (13)
4 15% (3)
3 20% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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