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How to Walk on Water and Other Stories

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A New York Times "New & Noteworthy" Selection An Electric Lit Favorite Story Collection of 2020 A Chicago Tribune Fall 2020 "Must-Read" In this spellbinding debut story collection, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines her mundan A New York Times "New & Noteworthy" Selection An Electric Lit Favorite Story Collection of 2020 A Chicago Tribune Fall 2020 "Must-Read" In this spellbinding debut story collection, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines her mundane life as film noir, endangering the infant in her care. A son pieces together the brutal attack his mother survived when he was a baby. These stories bristle with menace and charm with intimate revelations. Through nimble prose and considerable powers of observation, Swearingen takes us from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Northern Michigan, to Seattle, Venice, and elsewhere. She explores not only what it means to survive in a world marked by violence and uncertainty, but also how to celebrate what is most alive.


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A New York Times "New & Noteworthy" Selection An Electric Lit Favorite Story Collection of 2020 A Chicago Tribune Fall 2020 "Must-Read" In this spellbinding debut story collection, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines her mundan A New York Times "New & Noteworthy" Selection An Electric Lit Favorite Story Collection of 2020 A Chicago Tribune Fall 2020 "Must-Read" In this spellbinding debut story collection, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines her mundane life as film noir, endangering the infant in her care. A son pieces together the brutal attack his mother survived when he was a baby. These stories bristle with menace and charm with intimate revelations. Through nimble prose and considerable powers of observation, Swearingen takes us from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Northern Michigan, to Seattle, Venice, and elsewhere. She explores not only what it means to survive in a world marked by violence and uncertainty, but also how to celebrate what is most alive.

30 review for How to Walk on Water and Other Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Verant

    It's hard to explain this book, these stories. They are haunting, disturbingly beautiful, and make you question everything you've just read. Noir? Yes. Relatable? Maybe. And YES-if you put yourself in the character's shoes. The prose is beautiful. I couldn't put this book down and ended up binge-reading. Beautiful. Haunting. Thoughtful. My mind raced, was challenged. Isn't that what books are for? A stunning debut. It's hard to explain this book, these stories. They are haunting, disturbingly beautiful, and make you question everything you've just read. Noir? Yes. Relatable? Maybe. And YES-if you put yourself in the character's shoes. The prose is beautiful. I couldn't put this book down and ended up binge-reading. Beautiful. Haunting. Thoughtful. My mind raced, was challenged. Isn't that what books are for? A stunning debut.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    A stunning debut collection, so well written, imaginative, original. Each is a noir gem that haunts, and I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite. A stunning debut collection, so well written, imaginative, original. Each is a noir gem that haunts, and I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    This is a really lovely collection of short stories. Swearingen’s stories read as a cross between Jay McInerney and JD Salinger, both of whom I love. For me the standout was the titular How To Walk On Water, which is about a man whose mother survived an attack by a serial killer while he was a child in his crib. Swearingen’s writing is both literary and totally accessible, and I found this collection weird, wonderful and compulsively readable. Like all books of short stories, I connected more wi This is a really lovely collection of short stories. Swearingen’s stories read as a cross between Jay McInerney and JD Salinger, both of whom I love. For me the standout was the titular How To Walk On Water, which is about a man whose mother survived an attack by a serial killer while he was a child in his crib. Swearingen’s writing is both literary and totally accessible, and I found this collection weird, wonderful and compulsively readable. Like all books of short stories, I connected more with some then others. But regardless Swearingen is a lovely writer who sucks you into her prose. I’d be very interested in reading a full book, maybe a mystery, from her. Thanks to NetGalley, New American Press and the author for the advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Reeve

    Haunting, beautifully written short story collection from a writer to watch. The stories plunge into intense, off-kilter situations. The settings focus on the Midwest; the title story is set in Seattle. The images are keenly observed and compressed, extending beyond the frame of the page to suggest backstory and foreshadow the future -- the forgotten mirror, the torn postcard, the open can of corn. My two favorite stories were "Boys on a Veranda" and "Advice for the Haunted," seemingly but vague Haunting, beautifully written short story collection from a writer to watch. The stories plunge into intense, off-kilter situations. The settings focus on the Midwest; the title story is set in Seattle. The images are keenly observed and compressed, extending beyond the frame of the page to suggest backstory and foreshadow the future -- the forgotten mirror, the torn postcard, the open can of corn. My two favorite stories were "Boys on a Veranda" and "Advice for the Haunted," seemingly but vaguely linked in an enticing way. Highly recommended. Many thanks to NetGalley and New American Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    From "Felina": "How beautiful everything had been for those few moments when he was without his wallet and his name, and he didn't even think about the value of such things" (29). From "Mitz's Theory of Everything Series": "Mitz stepped closer to the painting of a fat girl holding a bean-sized baby in her oversized palm. 'It won't work, you know, she said to Ona. 'You can't fall apart. Even if you try" (89). From "A Habit of Seeing": "Julia squinted and what she saw then was the world moving on wit From "Felina": "How beautiful everything had been for those few moments when he was without his wallet and his name, and he didn't even think about the value of such things" (29). From "Mitz's Theory of Everything Series": "Mitz stepped closer to the painting of a fat girl holding a bean-sized baby in her oversized palm. 'It won't work, you know, she said to Ona. 'You can't fall apart. Even if you try" (89). From "A Habit of Seeing": "Julia squinted and what she saw then was the world moving on without her, the street already a street from her past. She was a waitress with an unused degree, about to settle down and buy a house, and the thought filled her with a dreadful kind of pleasure. She was fleeing the East Coast and all her former ambitions, and, yes, she knew even then, planning to disappear in the most ordinary way" (118). "Julia went inside and closed the door behind her. Whether she was emerging or being swallowed depended on a trick of the eye. A person could be two things at once" (131). From "How to Walk on Water": "'You're just trying to upset me,' she said. She stood and rinsed her plate and put it in the dishwasher. 'Why are you being so ugly lately? Why did you come back here if you hate me so much? What is it you want?' 'Nothing, Mom.' 'Well, obviously it's not nothing.' Her back was to him. She didn't turn around" (145).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Deutsch

    The author is a good friend, which precludes me from writing an extensive review. But I was immersed in all of these stories and excited by the range of subjects, settings, characters and moods. And it's noteworthy, I think, where these tales first appeared: every one of them in literary journals headed by great editors, with some of the pieces even winning major prizes. There isn't a weak story in the book. Others on this site have mentioned favorites. Mine, for its indelible characters and set The author is a good friend, which precludes me from writing an extensive review. But I was immersed in all of these stories and excited by the range of subjects, settings, characters and moods. And it's noteworthy, I think, where these tales first appeared: every one of them in literary journals headed by great editors, with some of the pieces even winning major prizes. There isn't a weak story in the book. Others on this site have mentioned favorites. Mine, for its indelible characters and setting, is "The Only Thing Missing Was the Howling of Wolves." I've recommended How to Walk on Water and Other Stories to friends and family members. As one of them reported back just today, the women especially in these stories are multidimensional, and the book offers continual surprises. To continue paraphrasing: this is a collection for readers who love stories that are unpredictable. I'll just add that the unpredictability is never the result of unconvincing plotting; it's always earned.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jen Fawkes

    If you are a certain kind of human being, the stories in Rachel Swearingen's debut book How to Walk on Water will both delight and comfort you. They are my favorite kinds of stories: those that highlight, center, and explore mankind's attempts to know the unknowable. Character-driven with hints of the surreal - glimpses into other worlds - and at the same time skillfully employing event, this is an incredibly strong first book, and I look forward to reading more of Swearingen's work. If you are a certain kind of human being, the stories in Rachel Swearingen's debut book How to Walk on Water will both delight and comfort you. They are my favorite kinds of stories: those that highlight, center, and explore mankind's attempts to know the unknowable. Character-driven with hints of the surreal - glimpses into other worlds - and at the same time skillfully employing event, this is an incredibly strong first book, and I look forward to reading more of Swearingen's work.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wisconsin Alumni

    Rachel Swearingen '02 Author From the author: In this spellbinding debut collection, How to Walk on Water and Other Stories, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines her mundane life as film noir, endangering the infant in her care. A down-on-his-luck son moves in with his elderly mother and tries to piece together the brutal attack she survived when he w Rachel Swearingen '02 Author From the author: In this spellbinding debut collection, How to Walk on Water and Other Stories, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines her mundane life as film noir, endangering the infant in her care. A down-on-his-luck son moves in with his elderly mother and tries to piece together the brutal attack she survived when he was a baby. These stories bristle with menace, and charm with intimate revelations. Through nimble prose and considerable powers of observation, Swearingen takes us from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Northern Michigan, to Seattle, Venice, and elsewhere. She explores not only what it means to survive in a world marked by violence and uncertainty, but also how to celebrate what is most alive.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Advanced copy received from NetGalley in exchange for a review. I was taken by surprise by this relatively short book of short stories. Short stories aren't usually my jam, they're difficult to get right, and I must not have realized that when I requested it from NetGalley. I'm glad I did though. Swearingen creates well-rounded characters in a short space, and each story made me feel things, whether discomfort, empathy, or suspense (I had to stop and resume "Advice for the Haunted" in the dayligh Advanced copy received from NetGalley in exchange for a review. I was taken by surprise by this relatively short book of short stories. Short stories aren't usually my jam, they're difficult to get right, and I must not have realized that when I requested it from NetGalley. I'm glad I did though. Swearingen creates well-rounded characters in a short space, and each story made me feel things, whether discomfort, empathy, or suspense (I had to stop and resume "Advice for the Haunted" in the daylight). The first story was my LEAST favorite, but it only got better from there. I generally felt like I was invested in the protagonists by the end of the first page, and at the end of each story I was left wanting more, to know how situations or characters ended up.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    *ARC provided via #netgalley⁣ ⁣ I sure do have a love/hate relationship with short stories. It always seems that every time I am just getting into one and can’t wait to find out what happens next, it’s finished and on to the next one! Such was the case for many of the stories in this debut collection. ⁣ Each story is truly unique and leaves you pondering long after you have read the final page. The characters were well rounded (even when they weren’t particularly sympathetic) and I find myself stil *ARC provided via #netgalley⁣ ⁣ I sure do have a love/hate relationship with short stories. It always seems that every time I am just getting into one and can’t wait to find out what happens next, it’s finished and on to the next one! Such was the case for many of the stories in this debut collection. ⁣ Each story is truly unique and leaves you pondering long after you have read the final page. The characters were well rounded (even when they weren’t particularly sympathetic) and I find myself still invested in several of them and desiring more of their stories. My favorite story by far was “Notes to a Shadowy Man”, with “Mitz’s Theory of Everything Series” a close second. I can’t wait to read Rachel Swearingen’s next book, especially if it’s another short story collection.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura Gavel-Kanalas

    Thank you to New American Press and NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for fair and honest review. How to Walk on Water and Other Stories is a beautifully haunting book. Short stories seem to be either easily forgotten or stay with you forever. This is a collection of stories that will stay with you. They are dark yet hopefully. Sad but lovely. Each a little different, at times I felt tearful and other times I had that feeling like when you watch a scary movie and you are waiti Thank you to New American Press and NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for fair and honest review. How to Walk on Water and Other Stories is a beautifully haunting book. Short stories seem to be either easily forgotten or stay with you forever. This is a collection of stories that will stay with you. They are dark yet hopefully. Sad but lovely. Each a little different, at times I felt tearful and other times I had that feeling like when you watch a scary movie and you are waiting for something to happen. The endings give you room for thought beyond the pages. I really enjoyed this book and hope to read more from the author soon.

  12. 5 out of 5

    May (a novel reader)

    I really enjoyed this thoughtful, curious, dark collection of stories. As with most short story collections, some appealed to me aesthetically more than others, but Swearingren's through-line of investigating the dissonance between the way that people perceive themselves and the way they are perceived by others is so interesting. The writing is strong and atmospheric, and it has a really beautiful adeptness at investigating the quieter moments of inner life amidst traumatic experiences. I really enjoyed this thoughtful, curious, dark collection of stories. As with most short story collections, some appealed to me aesthetically more than others, but Swearingren's through-line of investigating the dissonance between the way that people perceive themselves and the way they are perceived by others is so interesting. The writing is strong and atmospheric, and it has a really beautiful adeptness at investigating the quieter moments of inner life amidst traumatic experiences.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Janani Chinnam

    Thanks to New American Press for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review; release date 10/1! A thoughtful, haunting collection. Each piece so noir, so disturbingly beautiful. Deep character development in such short spaces. Favorites included "Felina", and "Mitz's Theory of Everything Series", curious--with raw, distinct characters; a few dark and emotional, including "Notes to a Shadowy Man", and "How to Walk on Water"--an absolutely wrenching gem. Thanks to New American Press for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review; release date 10/1! A thoughtful, haunting collection. Each piece so noir, so disturbingly beautiful. Deep character development in such short spaces. Favorites included "Felina", and "Mitz's Theory of Everything Series", curious--with raw, distinct characters; a few dark and emotional, including "Notes to a Shadowy Man", and "How to Walk on Water"--an absolutely wrenching gem.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cailin Mae

    How to Walk on Water and Other Stories is a haunting collection of short stories. While some stories resonated more than others, each was crafted with skillful prose, unsettling storylines, and memorable (if not always likable) characters. These are noir stories that have lived in my mind since I've finished reading them. A perfect read for spooky season as the days get shorter and the air gets cooler! 4/5 Thank you, NetGalley and New American Press for the review copy! How to Walk on Water and Other Stories is a haunting collection of short stories. While some stories resonated more than others, each was crafted with skillful prose, unsettling storylines, and memorable (if not always likable) characters. These are noir stories that have lived in my mind since I've finished reading them. A perfect read for spooky season as the days get shorter and the air gets cooler! 4/5 Thank you, NetGalley and New American Press for the review copy!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susanne

    Thank you to the author, New American Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is a hard one to review. Beautifully written short stories, a stunning debut - dark, darker, noir and disturbing. The characters in each are people that invite trouble into their lives, and then struggle to deal with the aftermath. Despite the short story format, the author puts wonderfully well-rounded characters on the page, that stay with you long after you've finished reading. Thank you to the author, New American Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is a hard one to review. Beautifully written short stories, a stunning debut - dark, darker, noir and disturbing. The characters in each are people that invite trouble into their lives, and then struggle to deal with the aftermath. Despite the short story format, the author puts wonderfully well-rounded characters on the page, that stay with you long after you've finished reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alice Little

    I really enjoyed this collection. The stories (and the whole book) were reasonably short and easy to read. The stories weren't too similar. Each one featured a character I believed in, but who surprised me - they were each so different from me in their own ways. Well done to the author for creating such a range of characters and telling their stories in such brevity! I really enjoyed this collection. The stories (and the whole book) were reasonably short and easy to read. The stories weren't too similar. Each one featured a character I believed in, but who surprised me - they were each so different from me in their own ways. Well done to the author for creating such a range of characters and telling their stories in such brevity!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate Wisel

    Rachel Swearingen’s gorgeous and hallucinatory How to Walk on Water is all about looking twice, then again, and again. Swearingen turns conventional scenarios like a date, dinnertime, living in a dorm, moving back in with your mom, buying a house, having a baby shower or baptism on their heads. A sensory delight, tense and exploratory, each story is shape shifting, dark but deeply hopeful, full of gratifying illusions and everyday magic. With masterful sleights of hand, these flawed and searchin Rachel Swearingen’s gorgeous and hallucinatory How to Walk on Water is all about looking twice, then again, and again. Swearingen turns conventional scenarios like a date, dinnertime, living in a dorm, moving back in with your mom, buying a house, having a baby shower or baptism on their heads. A sensory delight, tense and exploratory, each story is shape shifting, dark but deeply hopeful, full of gratifying illusions and everyday magic. With masterful sleights of hand, these flawed and searching characters are not afraid to open the closet door to find out what’s inside, to create trouble or fantasy or art not to escape reality but to acknowledge it for once. In doing so, Swearingen recasts the misfit entirely. By upending the deadening status quo, Swearingen illuminates the riches beneath the surface, turning everyday objects into extraordinary gifts. In alluring prose, these stories magnify and examine what is ugly, looked over, unheard or misunderstood until we recognize that it is our own self that comes into focus. This book is an insistent, auspicious reminder that we must change our perspective. That maybe being haunted is simply seeing ourselves in the other. That our memories and imaginations are inherent and powerful tools against violence and fear. This is one masterful, highly original, entirely moving collection.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary Hawley

    How to Walk on Water and Other Stories by Rachel Swearingen is a wonderful collection of stories with vividly drawn characters who suffer losses, revisit complicated pasts, ponder their next moves, and find solace in unexpected places. I especially loved “The Only Thing Missing Was the Howling of Wolves,” in which a man who helps his unreliable sister pull off yet another dumb stunt is motivated by the complex bond between them. In each story, the central crisis is often triggered by a mundane e How to Walk on Water and Other Stories by Rachel Swearingen is a wonderful collection of stories with vividly drawn characters who suffer losses, revisit complicated pasts, ponder their next moves, and find solace in unexpected places. I especially loved “The Only Thing Missing Was the Howling of Wolves,” in which a man who helps his unreliable sister pull off yet another dumb stunt is motivated by the complex bond between them. In each story, the central crisis is often triggered by a mundane event—a baby shower, a conversation in a bar, a return to a childhood home—that prompts the main character to look more closely at a terribly flawed situation. At the end of another favorite story of mine, “A Habit of Seeing,” the narrator observes, “Whether she was emerging or being swallowed depended on a trick of the eye. A person could be two things at once.” In these stories, told with humor and humanity, characters are poised on the brink of redemption or doom, or both at once. This is a book that will haunt me, in a good way, for quite a while.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bri • bri.renae.books

    This little set of short stories is a great way to kick off spooky season as they each and collectively are disturbing, weird, delightful, creepy, and compulsively readable. I read this far into the night two nights in a row because I kept wanting to know what happened. I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this collection. I would definitely read more by this author without a second thought. . The characters in this collection are haunting (or are they haunted? Or both?) and I think my fa This little set of short stories is a great way to kick off spooky season as they each and collectively are disturbing, weird, delightful, creepy, and compulsively readable. I read this far into the night two nights in a row because I kept wanting to know what happened. I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this collection. I would definitely read more by this author without a second thought. . The characters in this collection are haunting (or are they haunted? Or both?) and I think my favorite short story is the one who earned a spot in the title, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. . There are a lot of content warnings. And I honestly think I missed some: . CW ⚠️ (not spoilers. There’s so many short stories you can’t even begin to sort which goes where): Miscarriage, parent death, abortion, suicidal thoughts and attempt, eating disorder, mental illness, stroke, child abduction, mention of death by fire, death of children, serial killer, rape, assault . I’d pick this one up if short stories are your thing, or even if you’re just curious, and like to simultaneously cringe and excitedly turn the page, craving more. . Thank you to #netgalley and New American Press for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    RMazin

    In Swearingen’s short stories quite a few of the characters are a bit self-absorbed. This is not to say they are unlikeable, but you know their expectations will not be met or they will make a choice with consequences they may not have expected. These people are seemingly ones you could pass on the street and not realize the internal dilemmas going on. That, and the exquisite writing makes this title a compelling one. Favorite stories: Notes to a Shadowy Man where a young nanny’s inner life take In Swearingen’s short stories quite a few of the characters are a bit self-absorbed. This is not to say they are unlikeable, but you know their expectations will not be met or they will make a choice with consequences they may not have expected. These people are seemingly ones you could pass on the street and not realize the internal dilemmas going on. That, and the exquisite writing makes this title a compelling one. Favorite stories: Notes to a Shadowy Man where a young nanny’s inner life takes over; Edith Under the Street Life where a single woman feels her professional and personal life slipping away as she copes with the people in her apartment building, and Advice for the Haunted, where a young couple move into an apartment, which may have been previously owned by a character from an earlier story. Recommended. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Moloney

    This collection of short stories features a wide range of characters, none of which feel alike to one another. There's a banker looking for companionship in the face of his client's losses, even if the lover is an off-kilter artist who frightens him. An au pair who yearns for secrecy and intrigue, tries to manufacture it herself, only to encounter a very real and dangerous mystery. A grandmother who believes she is part of an underground Baptism Railroad. There's missing children, absent parents This collection of short stories features a wide range of characters, none of which feel alike to one another. There's a banker looking for companionship in the face of his client's losses, even if the lover is an off-kilter artist who frightens him. An au pair who yearns for secrecy and intrigue, tries to manufacture it herself, only to encounter a very real and dangerous mystery. A grandmother who believes she is part of an underground Baptism Railroad. There's missing children, absent parents, artists, neighbors, ghosts. These stories are full of heart and longing and forgiveness. I found myself unable to stop reading at night; when I finished a story I glanced at the clock and talked myself into one more. One more. The prose is clean and rhythmic. Swearingen's debut collection does not disappoint. Can't wait for more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer D. Munro

    Floored and stunned: wow! "The Only Thing Missing Was the Howling of the Wolves" is the most compelling and powerful short story I've read in ages. I also can't stop thinking about "Advice for the Haunted" (which I read first though it's the last story in the book, because we also recently moved into a house where the previous occupant left a lot of stuff). I love this author's writing. Literary, quirky, unexpected, and just plain good stories. Highly recommended. I'm still reading (out of order Floored and stunned: wow! "The Only Thing Missing Was the Howling of the Wolves" is the most compelling and powerful short story I've read in ages. I also can't stop thinking about "Advice for the Haunted" (which I read first though it's the last story in the book, because we also recently moved into a house where the previous occupant left a lot of stuff). I love this author's writing. Literary, quirky, unexpected, and just plain good stories. Highly recommended. I'm still reading (out of order) but I already can't recommend this book highly enough.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Kelly

    Although some of the stories were a little too weird for me, overall, I liked this collection of short stories, and I appreciated it even more after I heard the author read from it and explain how some of the stories came about. My favorites were "Mitz's Theory of Everything" about college roommates, one of whom has an eating disorder, and "The Only Think Missing Was the Howling of Wolves"about a woman who kidnaps her grandson so she can get him baptized. Although some of the stories were a little too weird for me, overall, I liked this collection of short stories, and I appreciated it even more after I heard the author read from it and explain how some of the stories came about. My favorites were "Mitz's Theory of Everything" about college roommates, one of whom has an eating disorder, and "The Only Think Missing Was the Howling of Wolves"about a woman who kidnaps her grandson so she can get him baptized.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Bontumasi

    A wonderful and very smart collection of short stories, odd and engaging characters, enticing situations. Ms Swearingen is a gifted writer who weaves each story with such deft assuredness through time, place, and mood with unique wonderment and feeling. Two stories, in particular, stand out. “Notes to a Shadowy Man” and How to Walk On Water.”

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel McKenny

    Absolute stunner of a collection. Haunting in the best possible ways. I cannot wait to read more of this author.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anneke

    Book Review: How to Walk On Water and Other Stories Author: Rachel Swearingen Publisher: New American Press Publication Date: October 1, 2020 Review Date: September 7, 2020 I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb: “In this spellbinding debut story collection, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines Book Review: How to Walk On Water and Other Stories Author: Rachel Swearingen Publisher: New American Press Publication Date: October 1, 2020 Review Date: September 7, 2020 I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb: “In this spellbinding debut story collection, characters willingly open their doors to trouble. An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations. An au pair imagines her mundane life as film noir, endangering the infant in her care. A son pieces together the brutal attack his mother survived when he was a baby. These stories bristle with menace and charm with intimate revelations. Through nimble prose and considerable powers of observation, Swearingen takes us from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Northern Michigan, to Seattle, Venice, and elsewhere. She explores not only what it means to survive in a world marked by violence and uncertainty, but also how to celebrate what is most alive.” I find it amazing how different people can respond so differently to a book. I found this book anything but spellbinding. The stories were odd, but also strangely 2-dimensional and boring. To be honest, I could not read all the stories. The characters were quite strange, and not fully fleshed out. I felt like I was reading about cardboard cut-outs, and at the end of each story I thought, Huh...what was that about? So, unfortunately I give this book of stories 1-2 stars and do not recommend you read the book. I particularly do not recommend you buy your book. Don’t waste you money. Get it at the library if you must, if it’s carried. It always pains me to leave a negative review like this, and remember, this is my personal taste. This review will be posted on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon. #netgalley #howtowalkonwater #newamericanpress

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tillie H

    An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations... An au pair imagines her mundane life as film noir, endangering the infant in her care... A son pieces together the brutal attack his mother survived when he was a baby... This was such an intriguing collection of short stories.. I like that with short stories you just get a peek into a character's world, a peek at their thoughts and motivations before it's over and you are left t An investment banker falls for a self-made artist who turns the rooms of her apartment into eerie art installations... An au pair imagines her mundane life as film noir, endangering the infant in her care... A son pieces together the brutal attack his mother survived when he was a baby... This was such an intriguing collection of short stories.. I like that with short stories you just get a peek into a character's world, a peek at their thoughts and motivations before it's over and you are left to imagine what would've happened next. These stories were very noir and unpredictable. I enjoyed reading one or two of the stories at the end of the day. Thank you to #NetGalley for my digital ARC! #HowtoWalkonWater comes out October 1st!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Sowinski

    I usually love short stories but none of these evoked much feeling from me. Maybe it was just a case of the wrong book for my current mood but I eventually gave up on trying to finish this one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Very enjoyable collection of short stories,that managed to be quirky and amusing and a little bit dark. I think the short story is a difficult thing to crack,but this book did a great job,fully rounded characters in a short space of time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Lauren

    This is a series of short stories = twists on mundane life. People all going through the motions, whatever they may be, of their lives when someone or something comes along that skews it all. That person or thing can seem silly or absurd at first blush, which then reveals itself to be a window into something much more. As there seems to be more atmosphere than action, reading what is included, and left out, is important.

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