Ann Barr

A Paranormal Patriach

Swimming with My Father


Faber & Faber 208pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

I wanted to read this book not only because the author has written two good biographies, Livingstone and Baden-Powell, but also because of the sunny, splashy cover picture showing father and small son in one-piece bathing suits. It starts, ‘My father loved to swim in rivers, and in 1949, when I turned four and he forty-three, he started taking me with him. Sounds like the beginning of a joyous and free book. But it’s actually a fairly painful one. The characters are captive – bound by duty, and also love.

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