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Lifeguarding

A Memoir of Secrets, Swimming, and the South

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Description

In her sharply observed and ultimately redemptive memoir, Catherine McCall paints a vivid and sometimes heartbreaking portrait of growing up in a complicated Southern family, whose perfect façade hides crippling imperfections.

There are two parents, three children, and five ghosts in the McCall family. With their preppie clothes and country-club smiles, the McCalls look like all the other East End Louisville families. No one knows there are problems, that an internal gash the size of the Ohio river is flooding the family. All Cathy and her siblings can do is promise to stick together no matter what—and swim.

But even though they are fast, the McCall kids can’t outdistance their father’s destructive habits and their mother’s worry. As her family reaches a breaking point and an unexpected love blooms, thirteen-year-old Cathy finds she must keep secrets of her own. Though the love in this family is strong, Cathy must discover if it’s tenacious enough to withstand the truth.

Candid, captivating, and infused with compassion, Lifeguarding affirms the flexible strength of love itself; how family bonds must often bend to the point of breaking . . . and beyond.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 12, 2006 – In this powerful and surprising memoir, psychiatrist and first-time author McCall describes a Carson McCullers childhood, growing up in segregated 1960s Louisville in a house haunted by the ghosts of her grandparents, who all died suddenly and young. As is the case with most haunted houses, there are secrets. The McCalls were members of Kentucky society, but her father's alcoholism less and less well-hidden spins the family into financial turmoil and social ruin. McCall, her older sister, Anne, and younger brother, Curt, champion swimmers, never make the hoped-for Olympics. Anne must eschew her debutante ball and go to Duke on a scholarship. But it is McCall's secret lesbianism that threatens to derail the family altogether and makes her contemplate suicide more than once before she finds the strength to pull herself from the emotional undertow. In this immensely compelling and deeply moving memoir of love and redemption, McCall's tale evolves with lyric languor and builds to a stunning ending.
Lifeguarding
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jul 11, 2006
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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