REVIEW | Night Swimming

Night Swimming Review

Steph Bowe

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Night Swimming - Steph Bowe


Set in a small Australian country town, Kirby Arrow has two best friends: Clancy, an outrageously fabulous actor waiting to make his big break in the city and one of the only Asians in town, and her pet goat Stanley.

Kirby has everything she needs in her small town, Clancy, her mother and grandfather and a job lined up which will free her from being in a family life of goat farmers. Then suddenly, a string of events (crop circles?) shake up her comfy life and her relationships forever.

In real life, there’s no such thing as happily ever after, there’s just life passing day by day. After you ride off into the sunset, then you’re just in the middle of nowhere on a horse at night, aren’t you?

I BLOODY LOVED THIS BOOK. I’m pretty sad to admit that I’m not really into Australian fiction – I think that sometimes the stereotypes are a little overdone, or I find that I just can’t relate. Night Swimming is the first book by an Australian author, set in Australia (set in my home state too!) which I really truly enjoyed. The Aussie nuances were everything, like Kirby talking about how she doesn’t pronounce whole words (‘how ya doin’, where ya goin’, etc.), the drop of a ‘she’ll be right’ or even the Nutbush! Such a great depiction of the Aussie language and culture – a huge contrast to the American YA lit that I usually read.

Night Swimming is maybe one of the cutest reads I’ve had to date. Being set in a small town, the relationships in the book are all functional, yet amicable – and TOTALLY realistic. I could see each character in my own life, like the gossipy old lady who runs the bakery down the road, or the strict, but tired looking guy who runs the local pub. The characters were all charming and lovely – especially Kirby, who was the perfect level of quirky teen. She felt so REAL. She wasn’t all about Snapstreaks and her appearance and all those superficial things. She was just doing her best, and I loved her for it.

What I loved the most about Night Swimming was just how progressive it was. Clancy, being the token Asian kid, wasn’t the stereotypical maths nerd. He was a theatre buff!! Being a second generation immigrant to Australia, I understand the kind of pressures these kids are put under to take on certain jobs and I thought it was so, so cool that Clancy steered away from the norm and did what he loved.

If you can’t tell – this book really really hit home for me. There are so many things that made Night Swimming so beautifully accurate and I would have LOVED to read it as a teen.

BONUS CLIP ❤ Since this book is LGBT rep in Australia, I thought I’d share these beautiful clips of Australia when same-sex marriage was made legal.


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