by Marianne Apostolides


Kat has travelled with her teenage daughter to Loutra in Greece, where she must make a decision. Loutra – “baths” in Greek – is the village of her father, who has just died. Natural pools formed under six small waterfalls line the perimeter of the village. The waters are said to have healing properties, and Kat dives into them in the hope that they will also have beneficial effects on her troubled heart. On her return she must decide what to do with her marriage, which she entered into at a very young age and has deteriorated: it is no longer a two-person affair. In order to reach a resolution, she follows the thread of her existence as she swims thirty-nine lengths, one for each year of her life. She needs a rational, scientific procedure: if she can discern the moment when her marriage ended, some scene, a definite point of the end, she will know what decision to make. As she moves through the viscous waters that offer as much resistance as the journey through her disordered emotions, the text ends up merging with the rhythm of her breathing: ideas pile up, are interrupted, burst forth like flashes, sensual and corporeal, stimulating. Stroke after stroke, the narrator builds her loving discourse, composed of her own lexicon – perhaps the most characteristic feature of any emotional bond – that she dissects and examines to the point of obsession. Her thoughts also revolve around the ups and downs of desire, guilt, the renunciations imposed by early motherhood or the game of mistaken perceptions that ends up being established in any long-term relationship.

Author Biography:

Marianne Apostolides is a Greek-born writer who was born outside New York and lives in Toronto. She is the author of seven books, including a memoir, Voluptuous Pleasure: The Truth About the Writing Life (2012), and the novels Deep Salt Water and I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind (2020).


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