Title: Swimming Between Worlds
Author: Elaine Neil Orr
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: April 3, 2018
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Kate, a recent college
graduate, is still reeling from the deaths of her beloved parents when
the discovery of hidden letters forces her to re-examine everything she
knew about her family. Tacker, a young engineering student and
all-around boy-hero, has returned from a West African odyssey where he
fell in love with the local culture but was sent home in shame. Kate's
and Tacker's stories come together when, on the same day and in
different moments, they encounter a young African-American man named
Gaines. The relationship that develops between the three is complicated,
as each one searches for love, freedom, and new beginnings."
My Two Cents:
"Swimming Between Worlds" is the story of Tacker, Kate, and Gaines. Tacker left the United States for Nigeria to build schools but was sent home in shame. Kate is a hometown girl trying to find her place in the world. Gaines is an African-American man confronting the difficulties of racism in their small town. These three characters will be thrown together with surprising results.
This book started quickly for me before it started to drag a little towards the middle and picked back by the end of the book. The book takes place in the late 1950s where American towns are still grappling with segregation and racism in a big way. Some of the most interesting parts of the book to me were where Tacker was realizing the juxtaposition between how different Nigeria and the United States were in this matter. His time in Nigeria really opened his eyes and made him realize that the things that he was taught at home don't necessarily mesh up with everything outside of the small town that he grew up in.
Overall, this was a good rumination on where the United States was in comparison to places far away during a hard time in our collective history.