Free Read [Fiction Book] ✓ Swim Back to Me - by Ann Packer ↠

By Ann Packer | Comments: ( 333 ) | Date: ( Oct 14, 2019 )

From Ann Packer, author of the New York Times best selling novels The Dive from Clausen s Pier and Songs Without Words, a collection of burnished, emotionally searing stories, framed by two unforgettable linked narratives that express the transformation of a single family over the course of a lifetime.A wife struggles to make sense of her husband s sudden disappearance AFrom Ann Packer, author of the New York Times best selling novels The Dive from Clausen s Pier and Songs Without Words, a collection of burnished, emotionally searing stories, framed by two unforgettable linked narratives that express the transformation of a single family over the course of a lifetime.A wife struggles to make sense of her husband s sudden disappearance A mother mourns her teenage son through the music collection he left behind A woman shepherds her estranged parents through her brother s wedding and reflects on the year her family collapsed A young man comes to grips with the joy and vulnerability of fatherhood And, in the masterly opening novella, two teenagers from very different families forge a sustaining friendship, only to discover the disruptive and unsettling power of sex.Ann Packer is one of our most talented archivists of family life, with its hidden crevasses and unforeseeable perils, and in these stories she explores the moral predicaments that define our social and emotional lives, the frailty of ordinary grace, and the ways in which we are shattered and remade by loss With Swim Back to Me, she delivers shimmering psychological precision, unfailing intelligence, and page turning drama her most enticing work yet.From the Hardcover edition.


  • Title: Swim Back to Me
  • Author: Ann Packer
  • ISBN: 9780307877925
  • Page: 219
  • Format: None

About Author:

Ann Packer

Ann Packer is the acclaimed author of two collections of short fiction, Swim Back to Me and Mendocino and Other Stories, and three bestselling novels, The Children s Crusade, Songs Without Words, and The Dive from Clausen s Pier, which received the Kate Chopin Literary Award, among many other prizes and honors Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and in the O Henry Prize Stories anthologies, and her novels have been published around the world.



Comments Swim Back to Me

  • Dean

    Surprisingly good, gripping and enthralling. A totally absorbing reading!!!!This short stories collection by Ann Packer is an absolute highlight and a mesmerizing experience for me.I sincerely wish that my review could mirror appropriately the feelings and the impact which these stories have had on me. These stories are so good and awesome written, that after reading them, they begin working in your innermost being. I mean, the stories aren't finish after having read them.Ann Packers book consis [...]


  • Jill

    Swim Back To Me is an amazingly assured book of short stories, bookmarked by two novellas, which deftly explores the fragility of family relationships. In many instances, it took my breath away with its perception and insights.The entire first half of the book is dominated by one story – Walk For Mankind, set on the Stanford campus during the Watergate era. Richard is a somewhat gawky coming-of-age boy, who is shifted between his aloof history father and his do-gooder mother. In contrast to th [...]


  • Allyson

    This was a fast read, about the best I can say for it. She did a nice job creating her characters but they were basically losers. Their lives were sad, but in the hands of a writer like Annie Proulx, Alice Munro, or even Maile Meloy, losers like these are lifted out of that stereotype and become real people, or at least people I am glad to read about. Sad stories, sad lives, but somehow still worthwhile reading. Packer's characters were completely forgettable and lackluster. I did not care about [...]


  • Sandie

    I could probably give a quick synopsis of Ann Packer's latest offering SWIM BACK TO ME in five words."it's about pain and loss". The pain involved is both physical and emotional and the loss is about every conceivable type of loss that leaves a gaping void in ones life from the loss of one's childhood, to the loss of a friend, a child, a spouse, a life-style, an unfulfilled dream.well you get the idea. While the author's writing style initially pulls you into each of the six stories it does not [...]


  • Andy Miller

    One of the best collection of short stories I have read in a long time, Ann Packer is a great writer. You get to know the characters and you're in suspense as to what happens in their lives. I found myself disagreeing about the conclusion of one story, JUMP, I thought the story was harsh in the summary of Alejandro's dad, a doctor who woke up in the middle of the night to drive Alejandro's friend to his office to give a test and then prescribe an antibiotic(the fact he did it isn't outweighed by [...]


  • Lisa

    I should state upfront that I'm not a fan of short stories, so I have a bias. I picked this up because I loved The Dive From Clausen's Pier and figured I'd give this a chance. It reminded me of why I don't like short stories. I get into them and then they end abruptly and many times in a way that leaves me confused. I'm always left wanting more, or in this case, frankly, wishing I hadn't read the story in the first place, because the collection is sad and depressing. The overall theme is of loss [...]


  • Jane

    I'm still waiting for another novel from Packer, so in the meanwhile I was curious to see what she's been working on. Here we have an author much interested in the complexities of human relationships and clearly skilled in capturing the nuances in words. The first and last stories in the collection feature the same character, Sasha, and reading the second of the two was like attending a forty year class reunion and being just a bit surprised at the turns the life of someone you thought you knew [...]


  • Ashley

    I found this book on a friend's side table in a lake camp in Vermont. I was the 1st one up and it was a chilly morning in June. I had hot coffee and a small, thin blanket, so I settled into the corner of the sofa to read the 1st story-really a novella. Halfway through the book the rest of the household arose and I reluctantly tucked the dust jacket flap into my saved place. I couldn't wait to read on-each story is immediately immersive. The characters are ordinary, so much like most people I kno [...]


  • Kathleen

    A strong collection of short stories from Ann Packer. (And yes, it is a collection of short stories, so please don't give it one star because you mistakenly thought it was a novel). Most of these stories deal with loss. The worst is over and now the characters have to figure out a way to keep on stumbling through life.I found Molten, the story of a woman mourning the death of her teen-age son to be gut-wrenching, but not treacly in the least. "Her Firstborn," told by a soon-to-be father whose wi [...]


  • Joanne

    Really liked The Dive From Clausen's Pier; didn't care for this one at all. It's a bildungsroman of an "honor roll kid" Stanford professor's son who befriends a neighbor girl and her family. Neighbor girl starts sleeping with an older man, honor roll kid starts smoking pot, and I stopped reading because it was one third of the book and nothing was happening except the kids following each other around and smoking. Yawn.


  • Bonnie Brody

    Ann Packer's newest book, Swim Back to Me, is comprised of a novella and five short stories. They are all "emotionally searing stories" dealing with issues of intimacy, misunderstandings that cause distancing, betrayals, and the problems that people have with understanding and knowing one another. Each story is strong and brilliant.`Walk for Mankind', the novella in this collection, just sings. It is a coming of age story but to just describe it as that would be like saying it's a beautiful day [...]


  • Jan

    Recently, after I lamented the fact that I'm having a hard time finding fiction books that aren't 400+ pages long, a friend recommended that I try a book of short stories. I've never been a big fan of short stories, for reasons that I find difficult to articulate. I think it's that a short story always feels incomplete to me - like I'm only getting a part of the story, not the whole story - and that irks me. But I thought, what the heck, I haven't tried to read a book of short stories in a long [...]


  • Jennifer

    All of the stories in this collection are great, but I absolutely loved the first story in this collection, Walk for Mankind. The craft, the structure, the beautiful writing, the funny, realistic dialogue, the marvelous similes, and most of all the characters and their stories were so very engaging to me. I read it straight through in one sitting--all 95 pages. I was very impressed with Ann's ability to create a credible 13-year-old boy voice in first person. I found myself caring about Richard [...]


  • Julie Ekkers

    I so enjoyed this collection! The opening story is actually a novella. I thought it and all of the stories were uniformly strong. My favorite in the collection were the last two, in particular, the penultimate story, in which the reader is introduced to a new father-to-be, whose wife had a child with her first husband, who died at five months from crib death. The transformative effect of his own child's birth of his understanding of his wife's loss is so, so well done and moved me to tears. I al [...]


  • Lormac

    This is a book of storieswell, it starts with a novella, but then becomes a series of short stories which have nothing to do with each other well, except that the last story is supposed to be about some of the characters in the first story 35 years later. well, except that these characters behave nothing like they did 35 years earlier. So what is the point of having the same characters in the first and last stories? Who knows. I hardly even cared.At some points, Packer gets a character's behavi [...]


  • Maureen

    I liked these stories a lot. There was more substance, somehow, than I usually find with short stories. All of the stories deal with loss. The first is a story of two thirteen year-olds and how they cling and also hurt each other as they lose their innocence/ignorance. Packer captured the intensity of that phase of life. Even though in some ways it is a terrible time, I am surprised how memorable some of the experiences of that time are for me, even more than my experiences as a parent, which we [...]


  • Sue Pelman

    Loved, loved, loved it! The characters are so real, the relationships understandably complicated, the situations plausible and diverse. It reminds me of Olive Kitteridge, partly because it's a collection of stories, but mostly because both authors are gifted at describing life experiences in succinct vividness that instantly lets the reader in. I want to know more about each one of the characters and where their lives have gone -- are going. I also want to keep tabs of Ann Packer, and will start [...]


  • Kristy

    Oh Anne Packer.You have such idealistic beginnings, then you go and eff it up with uninspired endings, or worse, women with no spines. Ah well, your generation is different. It is a dying one though, so beware. First story was going so well. Story about woman staying in a marriage because life on the outside was just as painful, well you lost me baby. It might have been in the first two paragraphs come to think of it because you used the word "bedclothes". I think you mean pajamas. No need for a [...]


  • Pamela

    A fine, interesting collection of stories that resonated with what I'd term "ordinary folks'" existential angst. The opening novella has an interesting turn, and each story felt unexpected and finely-tuned to me. As a short story writer, these are the sorts of works I like to read: Stories that interrogate the everyday in a new, yet accessible, way.


  • Rose Cearley

    Although many of the stories were sad, they were also thought provoking and intriguing, much like life itself. A good read.


  • Sharon

    Group of short stories, all good.


  • Christy

    I truly enjoyed this book. And even with 2 small children, I managed to read it in only 2 days!! It consists of two novellas framed by other short stories that are definitely well worth the read.


  • Sheila

    Six novellas each of which has stayed with me and made me reflect. Families, coming of age, loss and unexpected behaviors all make for compelling reading.


  • Kristin

    Although I found the theme of loss repetitive, I enjoyed Packer's writing style. And I absolutely loved the first two stories in the book. She captures the agony of figuring out a romantic relationship for the first time when your hormones kick in so well--while juggling your own messy family life situation. and the second story about a woman who lost her teenaged son and just listens to all of his CDs every day is heartbreaking. All of the stories are very realistic and I felt like I was eavesd [...]


  • Momruns5

    I don't really like short story collections. They were all a little sad. But true to life I guess.just the depressing side of life. I liked the last one, Things Said or Done. As a woman there is always the tendency to take on a caretaker role. Did not like the first one, young people can be so cruel and stupid and confused. The best one was the one about a woman having a second baby after the first one (from another marriage) dies of crib death. How does the new husband deal with this past trage [...]


  • Karen

    I have never really read short stories but "Swim Back to me" was the second book of short stories I have read this summer. And I'm hooked. It's very satisfying to finish an entire story when there is only an hour or two to read. I also need to say that Ann Packer's talent for writing a GOOD Short Story is outstanding. The characters and plots in her story were original and riveting. Thoroughly enjoyable.


  • Deb

    I read The Dive From Clausen's Pier for book club and liked it enough to check out another of her books. I read Swim Back To Me which offers 6 short stories for our consideration. This is not a Whoo Hoo, how funny book; it is gritty about death and aftermath. But there are moments in the characters lives when kindness, whimsy and humor make a start at a comeback. One of my favorite stories is the woman whose 18 yo son was killed. She began listening to his music, which seemed to have been a sour [...]


  • Marilyn

    Generally I don't choose to read short stories but I did enjoy the writing in these. There was enough information missing to keep me wondering about the background of the story and narrator, and all the missing pieces of such fell into place neatly. And then, as in many short stories, the ending happens and you didn't see it coming. Bam.


  • Allison Dhuy

    Since I am so focused on finding good material for my "mature young reader" of age 15, I would not have her read this mainly due to the language and drugs in the first story.That being said, I was disappointed to find the first story simply a short one; it was my favorite in the collection. The others were fine but nothing I would highly recommend. I guess I prefer the longer novel.


  • Julie

    This collection of short stories capture your imagination.


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  • Free Read [Fiction Book] ✓ Swim Back to Me - by Ann Packer ↠
    219 Ann Packer
  • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Fiction Book] ✓ Swim Back to Me - by Ann Packer ↠
    Posted by:Ann Packer
    Published :2019-07-07T03:40:01+00:00