The Swimmer by Roma Tearne

The Swimmer by Roma Tearne earnestly opens with the tone of a thriller but quickly evolves into something more beautiful and poetic. Poet, Ria Robinson lives in self-exile on the Suffolk Coast. Influenced by her isolation, retreating from reality, she pays little attention to the happenings within her community, she chooses to turn a deaf ear on the bleak  political and tumultuous social news. However one day she is woken by the sounds of a swimmer in the fairly remote area of her river. Intrigued she goes to the window, watches and listens intently and soon her hints of a presence within her house. Over a number of nights the mysterious swimmer is discovered to be Ben, a young doctor and illegal immigrant from Sri Lanka.

The story of the Swimmer is told poignantly through three women’s voices, Ria, Anula and Lydia. This is a tale of love, loss and injustice. Roma Tearne captures brilliantly the moods of the native Suffolk Coast. The reader feels the moods of the ravaging winds and storms, the bleakness of the snow, the innate behaviours of the native animals. Roma Tearne captures her tale and punctuates it with moments of stillness, and colours it with joy and shades it with hues of grief. The Swimmer is a passionate, political and poet novel.