REVIEWS

Swim Back To Me

“A tour de force…These stories [have] power and grace. With this collection, Ann Packer takes her place among today’s best authors of literary fiction.” (Read the full review)
— Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Her patient investigations reveal human longing in such clear, stripped-down familiarity—never shirking from the difficult—that readers experience a singular sense of comfort.” (Read the full review)
— San Francisco Chronicle

“Rich territory… Packer is particularly adept at building suspense—a trait not typically associated with literary fiction—and she teases it out of everyday situations…. Smart and compelling.” (Read the full review)
— Washington Post

“Ann Packer’s Swim Back to Me reminded me of why I fell in love with literature in the first place. Upon closing the book, I thought, ‘I’ll read this again.’” (Read the full review)
— Philadelphia Inquirer

“Packer paints these lives with full and compassionate brushstrokes….[Her] greatest strength lies in her refusal to offer easy answers.” (Read the full review)
— New York Times Book Review

“Most readers know Ann Packer from her best-selling debut novel, The Dive from Clausen’s Pier.  Her stunning linked-story collection…is even better, richer, more insightful.  Packer can break your heart—and she can mend it, too. ” (Read the full review)
— O Magazine

“Astute…Anyone intrigued by the ways we both fail and save one another will find ample food for thought here.” (Read the full review)
— People Magazine

“As audacious, imaginative and poignant as any of her previous work….Packer can compress a lifetime of hope and sorrow in a short story.” (Read the full review)
— Miami Herald

“Deeply engrossing… illuminates the instant, in the darkest hour of grief, when the heart opens wider than ever before—and shows us a new way of being.” (Read the full review)
— Pam Houston, More magazine

“Wonderful…A lovely, masterful collection.” (Read the full review)
— Boston Globe

“Packer…is a master at getting to the heart of characters struggling on in the face of loss….Swim Back to Me is best enjoyed for Packer’s sharply focused snapshots of people at pivotal points in their lives, a focus so intense that we can feel as if we’re spying on them. ” (Read the full review)
— St. Louis Post Dispatch

“The beginning of ... all of Packer’s stories feels as nonchalant as stepping into a puddle but results in a sudden plunge into deep water….Deceptively simple and full of moral complications, the stories in Swim Back to Me are potent and deftly written. ” (Read the full review)
— Dallas Morning News

“The families in Packer’s stories seem so possible and so familiar, reading about them is like flipping through a photo album with someone you’ve always known.”  (Read the full review)
— San Francisco Magazine

“Astute and richly detailed…The most powerful moments in Packer’s tales detonate…quietly.” (Read the full review)
— Barnes&Noble.com

“Gripping…a stunning look into how we learn and sometimes fail to live with each other.” (Read the full review)
— The Daily Beast

“Utterly readable…Ann Packer has a talent for creating authentic, absorbing characters.”
— Ladies Home Journal

“A novella and five stories limn with acuity and empathy the intricate negotiations and painful losses of family life… Touching, tender and true… Her prose is deceptively simple, her insights always complex….Acknowledging the hurt and sorrow our loved ones bring us, the author never forgets to trace the joys of intimacy as well.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A sterling collection…Packer presents complex human relationships with unsentimental compassion.”
— Publishers Weekly

“I first read Packer in her Mendocino and Other Stories, and I loved the completely open and terrified people I found there. The stories of Swim Back to Me are so masterful as to seem artless, as if each story were straight from nature. And each is so beautiful, it hurts.”
— Joel Gardner, LitSnap

“Powerful…satisfying…Packer’s characters are fully developed with emotions that feel authentic.”
— Bookpage

“Delightful….resonant, memorable.”
— Booklist