Review: The Night Swimmer by Matt Bondurant

Confess as I must, I never really had a fear of water wherever it might be. I can easily understand Elly’s obsession for long-distance, cold-water swimming. But in The Night Swimmer by Matt Bondurant, Elly’s swimming plays equal contest to her husband’s attempt to rebuild a flourishing pub, the Nightjar, on the rugged southwestern shore of Ireland.

The pub contest in Vermont, won by the mere throw of darts in the very first part of the book, seems a bit contrived. Immediately, I could think that only some kind of a bizarre story would follow. Having won this Nightjar pub, its building, and property, in The Night Swimmer, Elly and her husband forsake all in Vermont to courageously arrive at the pub’s door in absolute excitement, hoping to remodel the beer parlor to attract tourist bar drinkers along with typical regular bar patrons. In addition, the Nightjar’s location will afford Elly numerous long-distance swimming opportunities, a dangerous physical excercise she dearly loves.

It does not happen. While the pub is undergoing serious remodeling, Elly spends much of her time on Cape Clear, an island off the southwestern coast of Ireland where she meets rather unusual isle folks, some of whom accept her, whilest others think of her as a “fucking” intruder into their idyllic island life. One man in particular seems to hold her fancy. Elley continues her swimming.

From the get-go, the remodeled Nightjar on the mainland does poorly. It attracts few customers who would rather spend their drinking evenings at a more established rural business. Elly, who commutes back to her husband’s Nightjar from the remote Island of Cape Clear to help cook and serve at his pub each weekend, offers suggestions about what-needs-changed to make the bar and restaurant a success. She also confesses to her husband the strangeness of the native people living on her island home. In The Night Swimmer, She tells of a fierce generations old battle between a goat herder and the mafia-like family that has controlled the island for generations and have little care or acceptance of outsiders.

Strange, violent events begin to occur. Elly finds the broken, bony, floating body of a local villager on one of her open water swims. How did this man die? Then, her husband is manhandled at his Nightjar. Was the floating victim the result of island infighting or a victim of suicide? Was her husband beaten to muscle him out? Will their marriage remain strong enough to keep them united against mainland feuds and troubles out on Clear Island; or, like others before them who have had their fill of power struggles, will Elly and her spouse remain alive long enough to forsake Ireland and return to the United States?  To know More info – adult swimming lessons websites should be checked through the followers. The websites will provide complete information along with the reviews to the adults. 

I would recommend The Night Swimmer to any reader seeking a nerve jangling story. It will make you hope all will turn out well for these two entrepreneurs who so willingly give up comfortable life here in the United States to get involved with “only the possibility” that they will be successful in Southernmost Ireland. So many of us, as readers, have wanted just such an opportunity. Read this book. It will cause you to have second thoughts even if a business is offered to you, seemingly on a golden platter.