Swimming for Sunlight
When recently divorced Katie Ellis and her rescue dog Bark move back in with Katie’s grandmother in Florida, she becomes swept up in a reunion of her grandmother’s troupe of underwater performers—finding hope and renewal in unexpected places, in this sweet novel perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Claire Cook.Aspiring costume designer Katie gave up everything in her divorce to gain custody of her fearful, faithful rescue dog, Barkimedes. While she figures out what to do next, she heads back to Florida to live with her grandmother, Nan.But Katie quickly learns there’s a lot she doesn’t know about Nan—like the fact that in her youth Nan was a mermaid performer in a roadside attraction show, swimming and dancing underwater with a close-knit cast of talented women. Although most of the mermaids have since lost touch, Katie helps Nan search for her old friends on Facebook, sparking hopes for a reunion show. Katie is up for making some fabulous costumes, but first, she has to contend with her crippling fear of water. As Katie’s college love Luca, a documentary filmmaker, enters the fray, Katie struggles to balance her hopes with her anxiety, and begins to realize just how much Bark’s fears are connected to her own, in this thoughtful, charming novel about hope after loss and friendships that span generations.

Swimming for Sunlight Details

TitleSwimming for Sunlight
Author
ReleaseApr 23rd, 2019
PublisherAtria Books
ISBN-139781501198489
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Contemporary

Swimming for Sunlight Review

  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    What first got my attention to this book was of course the cover! That sweet little pup on the cover stole my interest :).I cannot say enough good things about this sweet sweet novel! This was the perfect book to come into my life right now!If you're thinking this is going to be a romance novel.. you're completely wrong. Allie Larkin explores love, friendship, overcoming your fears, anxiety, and happiness in this beautiful novel. Between the fury rescue pup Bark, the mermaid team of hip grandmas What first got my attention to this book was of course the cover! That sweet little pup on the cover stole my interest :).I cannot say enough good things about this sweet sweet novel! This was the perfect book to come into my life right now!If you're thinking this is going to be a romance novel.. you're completely wrong. Allie Larkin explores love, friendship, overcoming your fears, anxiety, and happiness in this beautiful novel. Between the fury rescue pup Bark, the mermaid team of hip grandmas, to the loving, complex, and resilient set of characters this is one book that you want to get your hands on! You will not be disappointed! I highly recommend.4.5 mermaid sun stars!Thank you to Atria and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.Publication date: 4/23/19Published to GR: 12/23/18
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Ahh, Swimming for Sunlight is so sweet and refreshing! Just what I needed! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Katie is an aspiring costume designer, and I knew she was my kind of gal when I read she gave up everything in her divorce settlement- everything- in order to keep her rescue dog. At a loss on what her next steps should be, Katie moves home to Florida to live with her grandmother. Her former underwater performer grandmother. Nan was a mermaid performer in a roadside show, and she had a group of close friends who Ahh, Swimming for Sunlight is so sweet and refreshing! Just what I needed! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Katie is an aspiring costume designer, and I knew she was my kind of gal when I read she gave up everything in her divorce settlement- everything- in order to keep her rescue dog. At a loss on what her next steps should be, Katie moves home to Florida to live with her grandmother. Her former underwater performer grandmother. Nan was a mermaid performer in a roadside show, and she had a group of close friends who performed with her. Unfortunately, the women lost touch over the years, but Katie helps Nan find her friends via social media in hopes of reuniting them for one more show. Of course, if this happens, Katie will make the costumes! Katie’s college boyfriend, Luca, re-enters the scene. Now a documentary filmmaker, Katie is feeling sparks between them. Katie has a real battle between all of her dreams and her anxiety holding her back from obtaining them. She makes a connection between her own fear and the anxiety her dog experiences. This aspect was SO sensitive and well-done, it melts my heart just thinking about it again. Swimming for Sunlight is a charming and moving story. If you are a lover of dogs or any animal, you can’t miss it, and even if you aren’t, this is a beautiful story that is sure to capture your heart like it did mine. Will Katie and Bark find their happily ever after?I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsDecent, light, feel sad then feel good type of read. This worked well as a quick vacation read. Katie is in her late 20s and just divorced, when she moves back in with her grandmother with her dog Bark in tow. Katie has a lot of baggage stemming from her father's death and her mother's subsequent abandonment. Katie's grandmother and her group of friends were her anchor as a child and serve the same purpose after Katie's divorce. The story is a quite predictable and Katie is a bit melodr 3.5 starsDecent, light, feel sad then feel good type of read. This worked well as a quick vacation read. Katie is in her late 20s and just divorced, when she moves back in with her grandmother with her dog Bark in tow. Katie has a lot of baggage stemming from her father's death and her mother's subsequent abandonment. Katie's grandmother and her group of friends were her anchor as a child and serve the same purpose after Katie's divorce. The story is a quite predictable and Katie is a bit melodramatic for my tastes, but the grandmother and her friends we lovely -- they really carried the book for me. These are not sweet older women -- no, they are hip and savvy. A decent light novel if that's what you're craving. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • Selena
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free advanced e-copy of Swimming for Sunlight by Allie Larkin from NetGalley for my honest review.Oh my, where to start. Such a beautiful, moving, emotional and memorable book. Katie and her dog, Bark go to Florida after her divorce. Katie, is young, depressed and is struggling with anxiety and fears as well. She is also still mourning the loss of her father. She ends up moving in with her Grandmother (Nan). Katie learns that Nan was a mermaid performer back in the day. Katie decide I received a free advanced e-copy of Swimming for Sunlight by Allie Larkin from NetGalley for my honest review.Oh my, where to start. Such a beautiful, moving, emotional and memorable book. Katie and her dog, Bark go to Florida after her divorce. Katie, is young, depressed and is struggling with anxiety and fears as well. She is also still mourning the loss of her father. She ends up moving in with her Grandmother (Nan). Katie learns that Nan was a mermaid performer back in the day. Katie decides to help Nan reunite with her Mermaid friends from the past. They contact all the Mermaids, wanting to do a reunion show. While all this is happening she also learns that her Ex husband is in another relationship and is happy but she is heart broken. Katie starts to find her own peach and healing process when she decides to make costumes for Nana and all her friends for the reunion show. A beautiful and enchanting book filled with love, compassion, sorrow, happiness and above all friendship and healing. You will laugh with these characters, cry with these characters and fall in love with them as well.
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  • Mackey
    January 1, 1970
    Swimming for Sunlight is an uplifting story full of love, friendship, growth and multi-generational comradery that will fill your heart with joy from beginning to end.Katie Ellis suffered a double loss as a child; her father died of a heart attack as they were playing in the water and her mother abandoned her shortly thereafter. As a result, despite an abundance of love from her grandmother, Nan, and the caring of all of Nan’s friends, Katie suffers from debilitating anxiety disorder which now h Swimming for Sunlight is an uplifting story full of love, friendship, growth and multi-generational comradery that will fill your heart with joy from beginning to end.Katie Ellis suffered a double loss as a child; her father died of a heart attack as they were playing in the water and her mother abandoned her shortly thereafter. As a result, despite an abundance of love from her grandmother, Nan, and the caring of all of Nan’s friends, Katie suffers from debilitating anxiety disorder which now has cost Katie her marriage. The one thing she has fought for and won in the divorce settlement is her faithful-fearful dog, Bark. Now Katie is moving back in with Nan to be surrounded once more by a wonderful community of friends.As someone who suffers from extreme social anxiety, I related to Katie and her faithful pooch very much. As she plunges herself into helping her Nan reconnect with Nan’s friends from the past, Katie slowly begins to heal and we, as readers, are able to see her growth – after a harrowing fall to the very bottom of an emotional fallout. It is through the help of the community, her own childhood friends and the love of her dear pet that we watch Katie learn to deal with her anxiety – and that of Bark’s as well.There are a number of characters in Swimming for Sunlight in addition to the primary ones of Katie and her Nan and each play an integral part in the story. Larkin does a beautiful job of developing them to their fullest, slowly revealing their true nature so that we see their strengths and weaknesses as well, just as we would our own friends and neighbors. She then weaves their storylines in with Katie’s brilliantly. I loved Swimming for Sunlight. It came into my life at exactly the right time when I needed it most and filled it with warmth and happiness. I hope it will do the same for many other readers.Many thanks to #Netgalley, #AllieLarkin and @AtriaBooks for my copy of #SwimmingForSunlight available today!
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  • Kerry
    January 1, 1970
    I adore everything about Allie Larkin’s latest book, the characters, the locale (atmospheric!), the mermaids. (You’ll have to read the book to find out who and what they are.) I fell in love with Luca and I want to adopt Bark. (Don’t worry Sunny, you’re still my top dog.) I especially love Katie and the internal battles she waged and overcame. SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT is a poignant and authentic exploration of one woman learning to cope with her anxiety and finding her happy place in life. It’s my I adore everything about Allie Larkin’s latest book, the characters, the locale (atmospheric!), the mermaids. (You’ll have to read the book to find out who and what they are.) I fell in love with Luca and I want to adopt Bark. (Don’t worry Sunny, you’re still my top dog.) I especially love Katie and the internal battles she waged and overcame. SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT is a poignant and authentic exploration of one woman learning to cope with her anxiety and finding her happy place in life. It’s my new favorite of Allie’s books and I can’t recommend enough.
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  • Obsidian
    January 1, 1970
    Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.So "Swimming for Sunlight." I went back and forth on this one. The main character is Katie Ellis who divorces her husband and takes her rescue dog Bark back to Florida to stay with her maternal grandmother, Nan. Katie gives up everything that she is entitled to so her husband doesn't get joint custody of the dog. So she arrives with paper bags filled with clothes and I kid you not when your grandmother q Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.So "Swimming for Sunlight." I went back and forth on this one. The main character is Katie Ellis who divorces her husband and takes her rescue dog Bark back to Florida to stay with her maternal grandmother, Nan. Katie gives up everything that she is entitled to so her husband doesn't get joint custody of the dog. So she arrives with paper bags filled with clothes and I kid you not when your grandmother quizzes her about not getting cardboard boxes she explains her dog, Bark, doesn't like them. I should have known what I was getting into from that point. Katie was a freaking martyr and didn't even see it. She was also causing her dog severe anxiety due to her actions. I did feel sorry for her. She was there when her father died and she pulled him from the lake they were swimming at. Cue her mother dumping her to live with her grandmother while she followed men all over the world and stopped communicating with her. So there is sympathy for Katie, but I got annoyed at how she dealt with everything. She tells her grandmother Nan that Bark can't be walked since he is so scared so they dance around the living room for exercise. Yeah my face is your face right now. Katie also can't handle going to funerals since it reminds her of her father so she's been largely absent with her childhood best friend who lost two grandparents and her grandmother's best friend who also lost a spouse. Everyone just excuses it and it drives me up the wall. And then we finally get into the one who got away and once again it was 100 percent her fault and I just hard sighed when we finally read about what tore them apart.That said, Katie didn't deserve the break up of her marriage due to her husband's cheating and though she seems to have found a sense of closure in the end I just rolled my eyes.Larkin doesn't spend much time developing secondary characters past a few people such as Nan, Bunny, Mo, Mr. Issac and Luca. Other characters drop in and drop out with Katie getting "insight" into them. Not enough to stop being a drama queen though. I get she has abandonment issues but good grief. Luca was the most patient person in the world. I really wish there had been more discussion between them when it finally comes out what caused them to end back in college. It felt like such a flimsy BS excuse that if I were Luca I would have been done at that moment. For me, how can you trust that you won't do something else the person won't like and they won't push you away for years. That said though I couldn't put this book down. I loved reading about how Katie came to love sewing and show she got into costume work. Her working at Mr. Issac's shop was highlight and her doing research on how to create her grandmother and the other "mermaids" outfits was interesting. I got so curious about underwater costume work and makeup after reading this book. The writing starts off slow at first and the flow was a bit off at the beginning. I think that's because as readers we are reading Katie tell her story in her own way and for the most part she is trying to hide things from herself and has to lie to herself that her dog is fully dependent on her so she has reasons to say no to doing anything.The setting of Florida didn't feel like a proper setting though. I think because most of the book takes place at Katie's grandmother's home, Mo's house and Mr. Issac's shop. We read about it, but I can't recall if Larkin described the smell of the ocean being nearby, the humidity, etc. This could have taken place anywhere. The ending ends on a hopeful note and you do root for Katie in the end. Being held hostage to all of the bad things that can happen all the time sounds exhausting.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Rich in details and brimming with emotions, this book pulled me in and captivated my attention each time I picked it up to read. It pulls at your heartstrings as protagonist, Katie, and her dog, Bark, help each other with anxiety issues, and as Katie helps Nan reunite with her friends from the past to become a beautiful group of senior mermaids. A wonderful, light, and poignant read.I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Atria. Thank you.
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  • BookGypsy
    January 1, 1970
    When Katie gets divorced all she wants out the marriage is her rescue dog Bark. Katies moves back home to Florida with her grandmother and her quirky group of friends. Katie learns all these things about the past and her grandmother. Nan was an underwater mermaid performer. While Katie helps her grandmother find her lost friends and bring back the troupe of mermaids,Katie discovers how much her tragic past and her fears and anxiety are holding her back. Holding Bark back as well. I loved this st When Katie gets divorced all she wants out the marriage is her rescue dog Bark. Katies moves back home to Florida with her grandmother and her quirky group of friends. Katie learns all these things about the past and her grandmother. Nan was an underwater mermaid performer. While Katie helps her grandmother find her lost friends and bring back the troupe of mermaids,Katie discovers how much her tragic past and her fears and anxiety are holding her back. Holding Bark back as well. I loved this story! It's spunky, lyrical,full of hope and promise. A tale of connecting with family, lost friends and past loves. I can't say enough how much I loved it. Stunningly beautiful.I was given a copy by the author for my honest review.Dawnny-BookGypsyNovels N LatteHudson Valley NY
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. Trust me. Just read it. Warm and delightful and bursting with empathy.
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT by Allie Larkin is such a perfect way to spend the day. Be prepared to ignore everything else until you are done. All I wanted to do when I finished reading was to reach out and give Katie and her grandmother Nan a big hug. Katie is recently divorced and basically, takes her rescue dog, Bark, a few bags of clothes, and runs to Nan’s. To say that Nan has an interesting bunch of friends, would be a huge under statement. When Nan and her friends were younger, they were underwa SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT by Allie Larkin is such a perfect way to spend the day. Be prepared to ignore everything else until you are done. All I wanted to do when I finished reading was to reach out and give Katie and her grandmother Nan a big hug. Katie is recently divorced and basically, takes her rescue dog, Bark, a few bags of clothes, and runs to Nan’s. To say that Nan has an interesting bunch of friends, would be a huge under statement. When Nan and her friends were younger, they were underwater performers. Katie is a costume designer and as Katie helps her Nan reconnect with her old friends who also performed with her, she ofcourse, will be making their mermaid costumes.Katie also decides to look up her old college boyfriend, Luca. There isn’t a whole lot of romance in this story, but you have to read SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT to find out what happens! You are going to love where this story takes you! All the while, Katie is trying to overcome her anxiety and the issues she has carried for years with the death of her father. She was with him when he died and the internal battles she continues to fight will just break your heart. Bark has his own anxiety issues, but I felt like Katie created most if not all of them.I fell in love with all of Allie’s characters and SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT did not disappoint all I had been hearing about it. Reading this perfect and heart warming book was like visiting with old friends. I loved learning how Katie became interested in sewing . Even though everyone is in everyone else’s business just enough to drive them all crazy, it was still a fun as well as an emotional story for me. They all try to help Katie heal and find her happily ever after. I can’t wait to read more from Allie Larkin.Thank you to Atria for my advanced copy through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5I love a good book about starting over and this one caught my eye with the mention of a close relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter. I was incredibly close to my own grandma and valued our relationship so very much and I figured I would really enjoy reading about Katie and Nan’s special bond. I was mostly right, this was a light and sweet read that will make for good summer reading.At the surface level there is plenty about Katie to like and I did admire her resolve when 3.5/5I love a good book about starting over and this one caught my eye with the mention of a close relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter. I was incredibly close to my own grandma and valued our relationship so very much and I figured I would really enjoy reading about Katie and Nan’s special bond. I was mostly right, this was a light and sweet read that will make for good summer reading.At the surface level there is plenty about Katie to like and I did admire her resolve when it came to starting over after her painful divorce. But once more about her character is revealed I’m afraid I never quite connected with her. She had a childlike quality about her and it grated on my nerves instead of bringing out my usual nurturing side for some reason. Thankfully I was totally obsessed with Nan and her mermaid friends, these ladies totally made the whole book for me and made me wish that I had a group of elderly women fussing over me! They were sassy, strong, brave and inspiring and made me laugh out loud several times.Overall this was a solid read for me, despite my lack of connection with Katie I really did enjoy it. It was pretty predictable but the quirky supporting cast of characters including the mermaids and Katie’s best friend Mo more than made up for that aspect. There’s also a pretty sweet dog named Bark that features heavily in the story so if you’re an animal lover you would probably appreciate this one.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and Atria books for this ARC - it was a surprisingly delightful book and I am proud to be able to review it.I started this book with an apprehensive spirit to be honest - I was worried it was going to be a run of the mill romance novel. Thankfully I was wrong, it is a romance but it is also a bit of family drama, BFF reinforcement and an awareness raiser. I was happily proven wrong.The fact that Katie starts off her story in the divorce court with the ‘new’ woman sat outsi Thank you to Netgalley and Atria books for this ARC - it was a surprisingly delightful book and I am proud to be able to review it.I started this book with an apprehensive spirit to be honest - I was worried it was going to be a run of the mill romance novel. Thankfully I was wrong, it is a romance but it is also a bit of family drama, BFF reinforcement and an awareness raiser. I was happily proven wrong.The fact that Katie starts off her story in the divorce court with the ‘new’ woman sat outside waiting for Eric to come out is traumatizing to say the least, she then travels to Florida to Nan’s house manifesting every form of neurosis possible. I have to admit at this point I wanted to give her a slap and tell her to get it together. She goes through all of her phases of grief and mourning in front of all the people who love her the most, and she shows every side of herself in stark reality - some nice bits and some not. Ultimately you realize she is grieving not only the breakdown of her marriage but every loss and hardship she has ever faced in her life. Some of which are awful and lead to many facets of her neurological anxieties.In opposition to Katie’s maladies Larkin give us Nan and her mermaids who are such a delight to behold. I literally wanted to be in that group of women, funny and eccentric in just the right way. Mo - oh Mo - she is by far my favorite. Old before her time, awkward and most of all loyal and honest. She is Katie’s BFF and her quips and responses were brilliant, some of her quirks and responses are laugh out loud material, I caught myself using her catchphrase ‘hilarious’ to describe her and also having to smile apologetically at people within earshot of me as I laughed at her and spoke out loud in response to her. Hilarious!Obviously the romance side of things cannot be ignored and I must say Larkin wrote about it as realistically as possible for a fundamentally flawed Katie, no romance is going to be easy with someone who is always waiting for a bomb to drop. Luca is everything a broken woman needs and he is good for her and softens her as a character - which means you start to like her even more when you see her through his eyes. I have already told everyone in my circles to keep their eyes peeled for this book when it is released. I am so glad I get to keep this merry band of individuals in my imagination, such angst and joy all in one place. A job well done to Allie Larkin and heartfelt thanks for the characters she shared with me.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    The words that ran through my head as I read Swimming for Sunlight were endearing, delightful and extraordinarily heartfelt. Allie Larkin has written a story about starting over when the odds have beaten you down time and time again and she has done so in a way that makes you want to reach out and hug our protagonist, Kay and of course, Kay's delightful rescue dog, Bark. More than that, Larkin has created a dream of a character in Kay's grandmother, Nan. Nan raised Kay for most of her life and e The words that ran through my head as I read Swimming for Sunlight were endearing, delightful and extraordinarily heartfelt. Allie Larkin has written a story about starting over when the odds have beaten you down time and time again and she has done so in a way that makes you want to reach out and hug our protagonist, Kay and of course, Kay's delightful rescue dog, Bark. More than that, Larkin has created a dream of a character in Kay's grandmother, Nan. Nan raised Kay for most of her life and embodies the type of person we all hope to have in our lives - whether as friend or family. With tons of heart, humor, love and MERMAIDS (naturally, you'll need to grab a copy for more on this), Larkin surely has a hit on her hands with Swimming for Sunlight.Thank you Atria for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Caroline Angell
    January 1, 1970
    I loved loved LOVED this book! In “Swimming for Sunlight,” Allie Larkin has written an absorbing, insightful tale of all the people and places in which we find strength. She's created a world I’d love to live in, full of vividly rendered characters who are as complex and resilient as they are big-hearted and funny. There is nothing like a great story, well-told; this is Larkin’s specific expertise.
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  • Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for a free copy of this book for review. Katie has just divorced her husband and has gone back home to Florida with her dog Bark to once again live with her grandmother. I love stories with family dynamics and this has a lot of that. Katie spent a lot of her childhood living with her grandmother and surrounded by her grandmother’s fun loving and eccentric friends which have become like family. Katie left her marriage with only a couple of bags of clothes an Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for a free copy of this book for review. Katie has just divorced her husband and has gone back home to Florida with her dog Bark to once again live with her grandmother. I love stories with family dynamics and this has a lot of that. Katie spent a lot of her childhood living with her grandmother and surrounded by her grandmother’s fun loving and eccentric friends which have become like family. Katie left her marriage with only a couple of bags of clothes and her dog but she definitely is carrying around a lot of emotional baggage from her turbulent childhood and adulthood. Once she arrives in Florida her grandmother tells her she is trying to recreate a mermaid show with her friends and she enlists her help in making costumes. Katie is deadly afraid of pools and swimming after an incident earlier in her life so the thought of a mermaid show terrifies her. A man from her past also comes to help document the mermaid show and Katie has to reconcile her feelings for him. While the book is generally lighthearted there are some very important emotional issues Katie has to overcome.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and Atria books for ARC - it was a surprisingly delightful book and I am proud to be able to review it.I started this book with an apprehensive spirit to be honest - I was worried it was going to be a run of the mill romance novel. Thankfully I was wrong, it is a romance but it is also a bit of family drama, BFF reinforcement and an awareness raiser. I was happily proven wrong.The fact that Katie starts off her story in the divorce court with the ‘new’ woman sat outside wa Thank you to Netgalley and Atria books for ARC - it was a surprisingly delightful book and I am proud to be able to review it.I started this book with an apprehensive spirit to be honest - I was worried it was going to be a run of the mill romance novel. Thankfully I was wrong, it is a romance but it is also a bit of family drama, BFF reinforcement and an awareness raiser. I was happily proven wrong.The fact that Katie starts off her story in the divorce court with the ‘new’ woman sat outside waiting for Eric to come out is traumatizing to say the least, she then travels to Florida to Nan’s house manifesting every form of neurosis possible. I have to admit at this point I wanted to give her a slap and tell her to get it together. She goes through all of her phases of grief and mourning in front of all the people who love her the most, and she shows every side of herself in stark reality - some nice bits and some not. Ultimately you realize she is grieving not only the breakdown of her marriage but every loss and hardship she has ever faced in her life. Some of Which are awful and lead to many facets of her neurological anxieties.In opposition to Katie’s maladies Larkin give us Nan and her mermaids who are such a delight to behold., I literally wanted to be in that group of women, funny and eccentric in just the right way. Mo - oh Mo - she is by far my favorite. Old before her time, awkward and most of all loyal and honest. She is Katie’s BFF and her quips and responses were brilliant, some of her quirks and responses are laugh out loud material, I caught myself using her catchphrase ‘hilarious’ to describe her and also having to smile apologetically at people within earshot of me as I laughed at her and spoke out loud in response to her. Hilarious!Obviously the romance side of things cannot be ignored and I must say Larkin wrote about it as realistically as possible for a fundamentally flawed Katie, no romance is going to be easy with someone who is always waiting for a bomb to drop. Luca is everything a broken woman needs and he is good for her and softens her as a character - which means you start to like her even more when you see her through his eyes. I have already told everyone in my circles to keep their eyes peeled for this book when it is released. I am so glad I get to keep this merry band of individuals in my imagination, such angst and joy all in one place. A job well done to Allie Larkin and heartfelt thanks for the characters she shared with me.
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  • Susan Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness...this book....so good! Allie Larkin’s storytelling swept me away with its beautiful words; its colorful, lovable, and complex characters; a story swirling with emotions that had me laughing and crying, often at the same time. When Katie heads to her grandmother’s house after her divorce, she brings along her somewhat neurotic dog, Barkimedes, along with deep-rooted anxiety, fears, and years of hurt. What unfolds after she arrives in Florida is a poignant, thought-provoking, and e Oh my goodness...this book....so good! Allie Larkin’s storytelling swept me away with its beautiful words; its colorful, lovable, and complex characters; a story swirling with emotions that had me laughing and crying, often at the same time. When Katie heads to her grandmother’s house after her divorce, she brings along her somewhat neurotic dog, Barkimedes, along with deep-rooted anxiety, fears, and years of hurt. What unfolds after she arrives in Florida is a poignant, thought-provoking, and endearing story that includes mermaids, dancing dogs, old friends, old loves, and painful memories. I had so much love in my heart for Katie, Bark, Luca, Nan and all of the charming characters who lit up the pages of this book; I felt their sorrows, their joys, their love, and their hopes; this story and the people who reside in it will live in my heart for a very long time.
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  • Kim Territo
    January 1, 1970
    Allie Larkin is one of my favorite authors, so I was really happy to hear she was coming out with another book. Unfortunately, it wasn't coming out until April of 2019, so a little disappointed I was going to have to wait SOOOOOOO long. Then I was delighted when my daughter, a very informed librarian, let me know it was available on NetGalley now. I immediately downloaded it to my Kindle Fire and began reading. As with both her other books, there is an awesome story line with amazing characters. Allie Larkin is one of my favorite authors, so I was really happy to hear she was coming out with another book. Unfortunately, it wasn't coming out until April of 2019, so a little disappointed I was going to have to wait SOOOOOOO long. Then I was delighted when my daughter, a very informed librarian, let me know it was available on NetGalley now. I immediately downloaded it to my Kindle Fire and began reading. As with both her other books, there is an awesome story line with amazing characters. I loved it and was sorry to see it end. What makes a good book for me is that when I'm finished, I wish that the characters were real and I knew them. Such is the case with this book. I want to adopt the older women in this group as my grandmothers. So in April of 2019, I would recommend you get your hands on this book, but in the meantime read Stay and Why Can't I Be You? You'll be glad you did!!
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    Two things1. I wanted to love this more than I did. It’s started out with sparks flying! I was smiling. I was laughing. I empathized. And then FIZZLE. (Also, some editing would have helped greatly)2. Larkin’s other books were fresh and fun. Read those first. I didn’t dislike this one, in fact my 3 Star “Good” rating is based purely on Nan and her tribe of amazing friends. They are certainly something to aspire to.
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    Four and a half stars: A beautiful book about conquering your fears, overcoming the past and finding a bright new future. Katie chatters all the way to Florida to her beloved dark, Barkimedies. Katie is heading home after her divorce to live with her Grandma Nan. Katie has no idea what she will do, but she and Bark hope to do it together. Once she arrives home, Katie and Bark are still crippled with fear and anxiety, but they slowly begin to overcome their fears. Katie heals by sewing costumes f Four and a half stars: A beautiful book about conquering your fears, overcoming the past and finding a bright new future. Katie chatters all the way to Florida to her beloved dark, Barkimedies. Katie is heading home after her divorce to live with her Grandma Nan. Katie has no idea what she will do, but she and Bark hope to do it together. Once she arrives home, Katie and Bark are still crippled with fear and anxiety, but they slowly begin to overcome their fears. Katie heals by sewing costumes for Nan and her friends so they can relive their glory days as mermaids. Bark takes baby paw steps as he learns to be a better dog. Will Katie and Bark be able to escape their fears?What I Liked:*I went into this one expecting it to be a nice romance, but I got so much more. This really isn’t a romance at all. Instead it is a book about conquering your fears, moving forward, finding your way and most of all about love and friendship. I loved this book. *This is a book about growth. I loved following Katie as she worked to overcome her past. In the beginning she is a mess. Slowly as Katie spends time with her grandma and her friends, she begins to work through her fears and find her courage. It is a slow process, she fights hard, and in the end, she makes significant progress. It was a joy to watch Katie grow and evolve. *I adored Nan and her friends. I hope when I am an old lady, I will have a zest for life like Nan. It was so fun seeing Nan reconnect with her old friends and relive her past. I loved following the women as they created the documentary. Such a joy. *There is a tiny bit of romance, but like the rest of the book, it is more focused on friendship and healing. I liked seeing the old friends reconnect and find that spark again. Bark is a treat. At first, he is this dog who has severe anxiety issues, but just like Katie, he learns to overcome his fears with some extra love. He was the perfect companion for Katie. *The book ends on a positive note that left me feeling good. I hated to let go, but I was thrilled to see how far Katie had come. This book was a joy from beginning to end.And The Not So Much:*Even though I was not disappointed at all that this wasn’t a romance, I wish that there had been more development with the romance. I wanted to see it unfold more. *I felt a bit cheated when it came to the big finale of the mermaid documentary. After all the buildup, I wanted to see it in action, but that doesn’t happen. Swimming for Sunlight is a delightful book. This is a book about growing, changing, overcoming fear and friendship and love. There is so much to love about this book. It is a lovely, positive feel good read that left me wanting more! Definitely read this one!I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this [email protected] Day Ramblings.
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  • Ramsey Hootman
    January 1, 1970
    Swimming for Sunlight is the literary equivalent of a chocolate chip cookie just out of the oven, warm and soft in the center. I loved the setup - Katie trying to salvage her emotional well-being by just giving up everything in her divorce except her dog definitely felt like something I might do in similar circumstances. She goes home to a group of elderly women who offer unconditional love and gently shepherd her as she learns to face (and finally deal with) her anxiety.I liked how nobody here Swimming for Sunlight is the literary equivalent of a chocolate chip cookie just out of the oven, warm and soft in the center. I loved the setup - Katie trying to salvage her emotional well-being by just giving up everything in her divorce except her dog definitely felt like something I might do in similar circumstances. She goes home to a group of elderly women who offer unconditional love and gently shepherd her as she learns to face (and finally deal with) her anxiety.I liked how nobody here is *really* the bad guy. Her husband seems like a complete a**hole at the beginning, but through the course of the story we come to see that he, too, is just attempting to find some happiness, even if he goes about it the wrong way. I also liked how Katie definitely has challenges she needs to face, but it's nothing life-threatening or over the top. It's basically her journey toward making the choice to love herself and improve her own life, not just for her own sake but because she also knows the people around her love her and want the best for her, too-- including her dog, Bark!Overall, a nice, squishy comfort read that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
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  • Christine Moore
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I could give this book 100 stars! I loved it!!! Katie and her husband are getting divorced. All she wants from her marriage is her dog Bark. Katie and Bark move to Florida with Nan-Katie's grandmother who raised her. Here Katie has a full family of all of Nan's friends. I LOVED the characters in this book! I felt the love they feel for each other, everyone in their own way helping Katie get back on her feet again, and all the love and caring for Katie as she deals with her anxiety. Betwee I wish I could give this book 100 stars! I loved it!!! Katie and her husband are getting divorced. All she wants from her marriage is her dog Bark. Katie and Bark move to Florida with Nan-Katie's grandmother who raised her. Here Katie has a full family of all of Nan's friends. I LOVED the characters in this book! I felt the love they feel for each other, everyone in their own way helping Katie get back on her feet again, and all the love and caring for Katie as she deals with her anxiety. Between the mermaids, the friendships, the pain of learning to live with the past, this book is a must read! I received an advanced readers copy and all opinions are my own.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I kind of want to be a mermaid in a fantastic costume made by Kay! The descriptions of the costumes were so vivid, I felt like I was in the room with her when she was sewing.I could also feel Kay and Barky’s anxiety as I read the words used to describe her fears. Her fears of losing the people closest to her. You can lose what you push away, right? The friendships that are threaded through this novel are special. I hope that when I’m an older lady, I have friends like that around me.This is a ve I kind of want to be a mermaid in a fantastic costume made by Kay! The descriptions of the costumes were so vivid, I felt like I was in the room with her when she was sewing.I could also feel Kay and Barky’s anxiety as I read the words used to describe her fears. Her fears of losing the people closest to her. You can lose what you push away, right? The friendships that are threaded through this novel are special. I hope that when I’m an older lady, I have friends like that around me.This is a very special novel and I can’t recommend it enough.
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  • Mrs Mommy Booknerd http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com
    January 1, 1970
    #FirstLine : Prologue ~ My husband brought a date to our divorce. Everything Larkin writes is gold. Her humor, storytelling and characters are all full of heart. All aspects of her writing shine. You know you are reading a book by Larkin because you are instantly drawn into the world she creates within the pages. In Swimming for Sunlight, I was once again, transported into the book...right into the lives of the characters. It is more than merely being a reader, it is like a being part of the exi #FirstLine : Prologue ~ My husband brought a date to our divorce. Everything Larkin writes is gold. Her humor, storytelling and characters are all full of heart. All aspects of her writing shine. You know you are reading a book by Larkin because you are instantly drawn into the world she creates within the pages. In Swimming for Sunlight, I was once again, transported into the book...right into the lives of the characters. It is more than merely being a reader, it is like a being part of the existence within the book. It is an all encompassing journey you take with the characters. It is a gift she gives to her readers! I loved this book from cover to cover and HIGHLY recommend it!!!
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    I did not expect to get so absorbed in Katie’s story, but I identified with Katie as she fights her way through anxiety, catastrophizing everything as a result of losing her Dad early in life. With her dog Bark, she moves in with her grandmother, Nan, after her divorce. Nan and her friends are quite quirky, as their history as performing mermaids is revealed. Katie’s battle with anxiety stifles her attempts at happiness,until her project with an old boyfriend, Luca, helps her to move forward. Hi I did not expect to get so absorbed in Katie’s story, but I identified with Katie as she fights her way through anxiety, catastrophizing everything as a result of losing her Dad early in life. With her dog Bark, she moves in with her grandmother, Nan, after her divorce. Nan and her friends are quite quirky, as their history as performing mermaids is revealed. Katie’s battle with anxiety stifles her attempts at happiness,until her project with an old boyfriend, Luca, helps her to move forward. Highly recommended.
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  • Barbara White
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, I loved this book. The writing is gorgeous, and the characters are quirky in the best ways. A heroine struggling to overcome anxiety, a messed-up rescue dog, a talented female metal artist who wears men's thrift-store clothes, a cute film-maker, and spunky older woman who just want to be mermaids. How could you NOT want to read SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT?
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  • Annarella
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful book that makes you root for the characters and it's full of emotion.I was moved and rooted for the characters.I loved the style of writing, the cast of characters, both human and canine, and the plot was engaging.I will surely look for other books by this writer.Highly recommended!Many thanks to Atria Books and Netgalley for this ARC
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  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    Great light but meaningful reading. Allie Larkin did a great job of taking the reader into the world of a seniors' community in Florida, as a newly divorced young woman moves in with her grandma. We see Kate renew childhood friendships with her grandma's friends and with her own high school BFF. This book's a nice picture of the lives of active seniors and the sense of community and lifelong friendships they enjoy and offer to a needy younger woman - all set against a project to re-unite a group Great light but meaningful reading. Allie Larkin did a great job of taking the reader into the world of a seniors' community in Florida, as a newly divorced young woman moves in with her grandma. We see Kate renew childhood friendships with her grandma's friends and with her own high school BFF. This book's a nice picture of the lives of active seniors and the sense of community and lifelong friendships they enjoy and offer to a needy younger woman - all set against a project to re-unite a group of mermaid showgirls. Having parents the age of the seniors and children the age of the protagonist, I really connected with this book. The cultural references - especially the musical references - are spot on. I could "hear" the B-52s and other music mentioned in this book as I read along. This will be a great selection for book clubs and for beach readers.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC! The hardest reviews are the ones where I'm middle of the road on a book for an author I really enjoy. I LOVE Allie Larkin so was so excited to read this. I loved the interaction between Kay and Mo and I wish there was more of it in the book. Most of the time I was left feeling frustrated with Kay's decisions but at times I understood her difficulties. I personally didn't relate as much to her relationship with Nan's friends - often times I found Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC! The hardest reviews are the ones where I'm middle of the road on a book for an author I really enjoy. I LOVE Allie Larkin so was so excited to read this. I loved the interaction between Kay and Mo and I wish there was more of it in the book. Most of the time I was left feeling frustrated with Kay's decisions but at times I understood her difficulties. I personally didn't relate as much to her relationship with Nan's friends - often times I found those story lines slower but at times they were charming. I could completely relate to Bark's issues and as always, loved the dog element in the book. Overall I liked this book but didn't feel it was as strong as Larkin's first two books. I hate saying that and I hate writing reviews like this on authors I love but sometimes books just don't touch every person and every moment they read it. I will eager look forward to her next book though!
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