Swimming for Sunlight

Swimming for Sunlight

When recently divorced Katie Ellis and her rescue dog Bark move back in with Katie’s grandmother in Florida, she becomes swept up in a reunion of her grandmother’s troupe of underwater performers—finding hope and renewal in unexpected places, in this sweet novel perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Claire Cook.Aspiring costume designer Katie gave up everything in her di...

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Title:Swimming for Sunlight
Author:Allie Larkin
Rating:

Swimming for Sunlight Reviews

  • Kendall

    What first got my attention to this book was of course the cover! That sweet little pup on the cover stole my interest :).

    I cannot say enough good things about this sweet sweet novel! This was the perfect book to come into my life right now!

    If you're thinking this is going to be a romance novel.. you're completely wrong. Allie Larkin explores love, friendship, overcoming your fears, anxiety, and happiness in this beautiful novel.

    Between the fury rescue pup Bark, the mermaid team of hip grandmas

    What first got my attention to this book was of course the cover! That sweet little pup on the cover stole my interest :).

    I cannot say enough good things about this sweet sweet novel! This was the perfect book to come into my life right now!

    If you're thinking this is going to be a romance novel.. you're completely wrong. Allie Larkin explores love, friendship, overcoming your fears, anxiety, and happiness in this beautiful novel.

    Between the fury rescue pup Bark, the mermaid team of hip grandmas, to the loving, complex, and resilient set of characters this is one book that you want to get your hands on! You will not be disappointed! I highly recommend.

    4.5 mermaid sun stars!

    Thank you to Atria and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

    Publication date: 4/23/19

    Published to GR: 12/23/18

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Katie is an aspiring costume designer, and I knew she was my kind of gal when I read she gave up everything in her divorce settlement- everything- in order to keep her rescue dog. At a loss on what her next steps should be, Katie moves home to Florida to live with her grandmother. Her former underwater performer grandmother.

    Nan was a mermaid performer in a roadside show, and she had a group of close friends who

    ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

    Katie is an aspiring costume designer, and I knew she was my kind of gal when I read she gave up everything in her divorce settlement- everything- in order to keep her rescue dog. At a loss on what her next steps should be, Katie moves home to Florida to live with her grandmother. Her former underwater performer grandmother.

    Nan was a mermaid performer in a roadside show, and she had a group of close friends who performed with her. Unfortunately, the women lost touch over the years, but Katie helps Nan find her friends via social media in hopes of reuniting them for one more show. Of course, if this happens, Katie will make the costumes!

    Katie’s college boyfriend, Luca, re-enters the scene. Now a documentary filmmaker, Katie is feeling sparks between them. Katie has a real battle between all of her dreams and her anxiety holding her back from obtaining them. She makes a connection between her own fear and the anxiety her dog experiences. This aspect was SO sensitive and well-done, it melts my heart just thinking about it again.

    Swimming for Sunlight is a charming and moving story. If you are a lover of dogs or any animal, you can’t miss it, and even if you aren’t, this is a beautiful story that is sure to capture your heart like it did mine. Will Katie and Bark find their happily ever after?

    I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

    My reviews can also be found on my blog:

  • Kerry

    I adore everything about Allie Larkin’s latest book, the characters, the locale (atmospheric!), the mermaids. (You’ll have to read the book to find out who and what they are.) I fell in love with Luca and I want to adopt Bark. (Don’t worry Sunny, you’re still my top dog.) I especially love Katie and the internal battles she waged and overcame. SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT is a poignant and authentic exploration of one woman learning to cope with her anxiety and finding her happy place in life. It’s my

    I adore everything about Allie Larkin’s latest book, the characters, the locale (atmospheric!), the mermaids. (You’ll have to read the book to find out who and what they are.) I fell in love with Luca and I want to adopt Bark. (Don’t worry Sunny, you’re still my top dog.) I especially love Katie and the internal battles she waged and overcame. SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT is a poignant and authentic exploration of one woman learning to cope with her anxiety and finding her happy place in life. It’s my new favorite of Allie’s books and I can’t recommend enough.

  • BookGypsy

    When Katie gets divorced all she wants out the marriage is her rescue dog Bark. Katies moves back home to Florida with her grandmother and her quirky group of friends. Katie learns all these things about the past and her grandmother. Nan was an underwater mermaid performer. While Katie helps her grandmother find her lost friends and bring back the troupe of mermaids,Katie discovers how much her tragic past and her fears and anxiety are holding her back. Holding Bark back as well. I loved this st

    When Katie gets divorced all she wants out the marriage is her rescue dog Bark. Katies moves back home to Florida with her grandmother and her quirky group of friends. Katie learns all these things about the past and her grandmother. Nan was an underwater mermaid performer. While Katie helps her grandmother find her lost friends and bring back the troupe of mermaids,Katie discovers how much her tragic past and her fears and anxiety are holding her back. Holding Bark back as well. I loved this story! It's spunky, lyrical,full of hope and promise. A tale of connecting with family, lost friends and past loves. I can't say enough how much I loved it. Stunningly beautiful.

    I was given a copy by the author for my honest review.

    Dawnny-BookGypsy

    Novels N Latte

    Hudson Valley NY

  • Selena

    I received a free advanced e-copy of Swimming for Sunlight by Allie Larkin from NetGalley for my honest review.

    Oh my, where to start. Such a beautiful, moving, emotional and memorable book. Katie and her dog, Bark go to Florida after her divorce. Katie, is young, depressed and is struggling with anxiety and fears as well. She is also still mourning the loss of her father. She ends up moving in with her Grandmother (Nan).

    Katie learns that Nan was a mermaid performer back in the day. Katie decide

    I received a free advanced e-copy of Swimming for Sunlight by Allie Larkin from NetGalley for my honest review.

    Oh my, where to start. Such a beautiful, moving, emotional and memorable book. Katie and her dog, Bark go to Florida after her divorce. Katie, is young, depressed and is struggling with anxiety and fears as well. She is also still mourning the loss of her father. She ends up moving in with her Grandmother (Nan).

    Katie learns that Nan was a mermaid performer back in the day. Katie decides to help Nan reunite with her Mermaid friends from the past. They contact all the Mermaids, wanting to do a reunion show. While all this is happening she also learns that her Ex husband is in another relationship and is happy but she is heart broken. Katie starts to find her own peach and healing process when she decides to make costumes for Nana and all her friends for the reunion show.

    A beautiful and enchanting book filled with love, compassion, sorrow, happiness and above all friendship and healing. You will laugh with these characters, cry with these characters and fall in love with them as well.

  • Julie

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. Trust me. Just read it. Warm and delightful and bursting with empathy.

  • Linda

    Rich in details and brimming with emotions, this book pulled me in and captivated my attention each time I picked it up to read. It pulls at your heartstrings as protagonist, Katie, and her dog, Bark, help each other with anxiety issues, and as Katie helps Nan reunite with her friends from the past to become a beautiful group of senior mermaids. A wonderful, light, and poignant read.

    I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Atria. Thank you.

  • Esil

    3.5 stars

    Decent, light, feel sad then feel good type of read. This worked well as a quick vacation read. Katie is in her late 20s and just divorced, when she moves back in with her grandmother with her dog Bark in tow. Katie has a lot of baggage stemming from her father's death and her mother's subsequent abandonment. Katie's grandmother and her group of friends were her anchor as a child and serve the same purpose after Katie's divorce. The story is a quite predictable and Katie is a bit melodr

    3.5 stars

    Decent, light, feel sad then feel good type of read. This worked well as a quick vacation read. Katie is in her late 20s and just divorced, when she moves back in with her grandmother with her dog Bark in tow. Katie has a lot of baggage stemming from her father's death and her mother's subsequent abandonment. Katie's grandmother and her group of friends were her anchor as a child and serve the same purpose after Katie's divorce. The story is a quite predictable and Katie is a bit melodramatic for my tastes, but the grandmother and her friends we lovely -- they really carried the book for me. These are not sweet older women -- no, they are hip and savvy. A decent light novel if that's what you're craving. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

  • Mackey

    Swimming for Sunlight is an uplifting story full of love, friendship, growth and multi-generational comradery that will fill your heart with joy from beginning to end.

    Katie Ellis suffered a double loss as a child; her father died of a heart attack as they were playing in the water and her mother abandoned her shortly thereafter. As a result, despite an abundance of love from her grandmother, Nan, and the caring of all of Nan’s friends, Katie suffers from debilitating anxiety disorder which now h

    Swimming for Sunlight is an uplifting story full of love, friendship, growth and multi-generational comradery that will fill your heart with joy from beginning to end.

    Katie Ellis suffered a double loss as a child; her father died of a heart attack as they were playing in the water and her mother abandoned her shortly thereafter. As a result, despite an abundance of love from her grandmother, Nan, and the caring of all of Nan’s friends, Katie suffers from debilitating anxiety disorder which now has cost Katie her marriage. The one thing she has fought for and won in the divorce settlement is her faithful-fearful dog, Bark. Now Katie is moving back in with Nan to be surrounded once more by a wonderful community of friends.

    As someone who suffers from extreme social anxiety, I related to Katie and her faithful pooch very much. As she plunges herself into helping her Nan reconnect with Nan’s friends from the past, Katie slowly begins to heal and we, as readers, are able to see her growth – after a harrowing fall to the very bottom of an emotional fallout. It is through the help of the community, her own childhood friends and the love of her dear pet that we watch Katie learn to deal with her anxiety – and that of Bark’s as well.

    There are a number of characters in Swimming for Sunlight in addition to the primary ones of Katie and her Nan and each play an integral part in the story. Larkin does a beautiful job of developing them to their fullest, slowly revealing their true nature so that we see their strengths and weaknesses as well, just as we would our own friends and neighbors. She then weaves their storylines in with Katie’s brilliantly. I loved Swimming for Sunlight. It came into my life at exactly the right time when I needed it most and filled it with warmth and happiness. I hope it will do the same for many other readers.

    Many thanks to #Netgalley, #AllieLarkin and @AtriaBooks for my copy of #SwimmingForSunlight available today!

  • Obsidian

    So "Swimming for Sunlight." I went back and forth on this one. The main character is Katie Ellis who divorces her husband and takes her rescue dog Bark back to Florida to stay with her maternal grandmother, Nan. Katie gives up everything that she is entitled to so her husband doesn't get joint custody of the dog. So she arrives with paper bags filled with clothes and I kid you not when your grandmother q

    So "Swimming for Sunlight." I went back and forth on this one. The main character is Katie Ellis who divorces her husband and takes her rescue dog Bark back to Florida to stay with her maternal grandmother, Nan. Katie gives up everything that she is entitled to so her husband doesn't get joint custody of the dog. So she arrives with paper bags filled with clothes and I kid you not when your grandmother quizzes her about not getting cardboard boxes she explains her dog, Bark, doesn't like them. I should have known what I was getting into from that point.

    Katie was a freaking martyr and didn't even see it. She was also causing her dog severe anxiety due to her actions. I did feel sorry for her. She was there when her father died and she pulled him from the lake they were swimming at. Cue her mother dumping her to live with her grandmother while she followed men all over the world and stopped communicating with her. So there is sympathy for Katie, but I got annoyed at how she dealt with everything. She tells her grandmother Nan that Bark can't be walked since he is so scared so they dance around the living room for exercise. Yeah my face is your face right now. Katie also can't handle going to funerals since it reminds her of her father so she's been largely absent with her childhood best friend who lost two grandparents and her grandmother's best friend who also lost a spouse. Everyone just excuses it and it drives me up the wall. And then we finally get into the one who got away and once again it was 100 percent her fault and I just hard sighed when we finally read about what tore them apart.

    That said, Katie didn't deserve the break up of her marriage due to her husband's cheating and though she seems to have found a sense of closure in the end I just rolled my eyes.

    Larkin doesn't spend much time developing secondary characters past a few people such as Nan, Bunny, Mo, Mr. Issac and Luca. Other characters drop in and drop out with Katie getting "insight" into them. Not enough to stop being a drama queen though. I get she has abandonment issues but good grief. Luca was the most patient person in the world. I really wish there had been more discussion between them when it finally comes out what caused them to end back in college. It felt like such a flimsy BS excuse that if I were Luca I would have been done at that moment. For me, how can you trust that you won't do something else the person won't like and they won't push you away for years.

    That said though I couldn't put this book down. I loved reading about how Katie came to love sewing and show she got into costume work. Her working at Mr. Issac's shop was highlight and her doing research on how to create her grandmother and the other "mermaids" outfits was interesting. I got so curious about underwater costume work and makeup after reading this book.

    The writing starts off slow at first and the flow was a bit off at the beginning. I think that's because as readers we are reading Katie tell her story in her own way and for the most part she is trying to hide things from herself and has to lie to herself that her dog is fully dependent on her so she has reasons to say no to doing anything.

    The setting of Florida didn't feel like a proper setting though. I think because most of the book takes place at Katie's grandmother's home, Mo's house and Mr. Issac's shop. We read about it, but I can't recall if Larkin described the smell of the ocean being nearby, the humidity, etc. This could have taken place anywhere.

    The ending ends on a hopeful note and you do root for Katie in the end. Being held hostage to all of the bad things that can happen all the time sounds exhausting.

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