Swimming in the Sink: An Episode of the Heart

Knopf. Sept. 2016. 240p. ISBN 9781101947623. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781101947630. MEMOIR
OrangeReviewStarOpen-water swimmer Cox's sixth book (Swimming in Antarctica; Grayson) adds to her list of inspiring and engaging autobiographical accounts about athletics and life. The first person to swim the Straits of Magellan and around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, the author confronts a new set of challenges in this title: the recent deaths of both parents and a beloved dog, then the breakdown of her own body. As Cox struggles with mysterious ailments, she keeps a coolheaded optimism throughout, acknowledging her challenges with a flowing, measured cadence. Finding that her life has become "arhythmic," she works to get "my heart, mind, and body back into their normal rhythm." The book is a reminder that for even the strongest and most solitary among us—and long-distance swimmers certainly qualify—the support of friends and family is crucial. Cox clearly adores those in her life and lovingly chronicles them here.
VERDICT A feel-good nonfiction beach read for the athletic and nonathletic alike.
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