Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Underwater Window - Dan Stephenson

Cover Copyright 2012 Ginny Glass 
and Untreed Reads Publishing
Since he was eight years old, Doyle Wilson has swam. It's all he knows. And his ultimate goal - qualify for the USA Olympic Team and win gold.

But at aged 24 he knows he's old. There are younger and faster swimmers than him. Including Hunter 'Archie' Hayes - his friend and rival. Archie has everything that Doyle aspires to. He's already won a few Olympic medals, has a fast car, adored by women, a reckless attitude and no bubble.

Doyle is serious and analyzes things too much. When Coach Curtains notices the bubble on his left thumb, Doyle sees it as one more hindrance. Yet Coach believes that the almost veteran swimmer can make a time of 3.36. Can he achieve it - a time quicker than he's ever swam?

But more than that. This is Doyle's last chance at, what he believes, of making a name for himself, of achieving greatness. His parents are keen for him to resume his education and enroll in medical school. His best friend and possible girlfriend (Doyle thinks his swim commitments doesn't allow for a serious relationship) Molly, just wants what is best for him - and only Doyle can determine what that is. Will he take this last opportunity to make the team or follow another path, one without a black line showing him the way?

Stephenson's novel is packed with emotion. From the frustrations of being up against Archie to bottled up feelings for Molly. The story however is more than just the burn of training. It's about friendship, love, loyalty and having the courage to stick at what you love - for better or for worse. From the moment I started reading, I was hooked - and I'm no swimmer! The author's language and expressions make it an easy read. The 'history' of swimming detailed at the beginning of each chapter was a nice introduction and cemented the competitiveness and sheer determination of people within the sport. Overall, Stephenson has crafted a rich novel sure to be inspirational for athletes and non-athletes alike. A highly recommended read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author to review. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique.


  1. Shalini, thank you for your thoughtful review. Too bad you aren't a swimmer. But now that you know so much about the sport, maybe you should give it a try. I can help you get started!

  2. Hey Dan, you're welcome. I used to swim but stopped a few years back - I have to admit reading this did make me consider popping in to the local swimming pool. So we'll see...