I recently received a copy of the book ‘Young Woman and the Sea‘ by Glenn Stout courtesy of the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It’s kind of like the ‘Old Man and the Sea’ except with less old people, more women, and no fishing… ok, so I guess it was nothing like ‘The Old Man and the Sea,’ but the story is still very gripping. It revolves around Trudy Ederle who was the first woman to swim the English Channel.
I finished reading it last night and I have mixed feelings about it. The story itself is outstanding. Following Trudy from being a child that loved water, to a stand out swimmer, Olympian, and finally English Channel swimmer and fastest crossing record holder. The book also dove into the history and politics surrounding swimming at that time, and the struggle of female athletes for mainstream acceptance. I really learned a lot of interesting tidbits reading this book. I think the thing I like so much about Trudy is that she threw herself into all of her swimming exploits because she loved it, not because she wanted the fame or fortune that could accompany it at the time. The thing I didn’t really dig that much was the writing style of the author. I realize I’m nitpicking here, but there were parts for me where the writing distracted from the story.
Fair warning, reading this book will make you want to swim the English Channel. It’s inevitable. I’m already deciding whether I should start from England or France… maybe I should worry about my next 1 mile open water swim first, huh? :) Now that I’m done I going to pass it along to my favorite English Channel swimmer and see what she thinks about it. If you want to get yourself a copy you can buy it here.