Hi, my name is Penny and I learned how to swim when I was 5. This is important, I promise.
My very young parents bought a house that was much too small for our very young family because it had a pool.
The pool wasn’t clean the night we moved in. Still, my mom changed my brother and me into our swimsuits and sat us down in the shallow end.
She grew up swimming, and later working, at the community pool down the street from the house where her parents still live. She would go to the pool in the morning, come home for lunch and go back, not coming home again until it was time to make dinner.
As a teenager, when she met my father, she taught him and his siblings how to swim. My grandmother was afraid if they knew, they would drown.
My mom grew up in the water, I grew up watching her.
I remember sitting in the green pool, watching her swim laps, and knowing even then — for her, the house didn’t matter. The water was home.
In this way, my mom is a lot like Lidia Yuknavitch. Not really in any other way.
“The Chronology of Water” is a memoir that centers around Yuknavitch’s adult life, her journey through adulthood, addiction and her path toward becoming a writer. All starting at the stillbirth of her daughter.
I love memoirs because I do believe everyone alive has a story they can tell that I would love to read, and Yuknavitch really does.
The story is told in brief vignettes, all connected to water and swimming tied to her history as a competitive swimmer.
Yuknavitch is a fantastic writer and does a great job recounting her life so far, not sparing any details or omitting the less-than-flattering things she has done in her life.
I would call Yuknavitch a girl boss in the true sense of the word that she has lived a lot of life and done a lot of bad things to people who maybe did not deserve it, but you want to root for her anyway — or at least, I was rooting for her.
She doesn’t try to shift the story to make you like her. She knows you’re probably not going to like her and that really only makes me like her more. You might not feel that way about her, a lot of people don’t.
All in all, if you like memoirs, family dramas, girl boss narrators who are downright cruel to men, water, beautiful prose or tales of addiction recovery, I recommend this book to you.
But, I wouldn’t recommend it to my mother.
What did you think of “The Chronology of Water?” Are you reading anything fun? Do you enjoy girl boss literature? Let me know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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