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Lifeguarding

A Memoir of Secrets, Swimming, and the South

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eBook published by Crown (Crown Publishing Group)

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About This Book
In her sharply observed and ultimately redemptive memoir, Catherine McCall paints a vivid and sometimes heartbreaking portrait of growing up in a complicated Southern family, whose perfect façade hides crippling imperfections.

There are two parents, three children, and five ghosts in the McCall family. With their preppie clothes and country-club smiles, the McCalls look like all the other East End Louisville families. No one knows there are problems, that an internal gash the size of the Ohio river is flooding the family. All Cathy and her siblings can do is promise to stick together no matter what—and swim.

But even though they are fast, the McCall kids can’t outdistance their father’s destructive habits and their mother’s worry. As her family reaches a breaking point and an unexpected love blooms, thirteen-year-old Cathy finds she must keep secrets of her own. Though the love in this family is strong, Cathy must discover if it’s tenacious enough to withstand the truth.

Candid, captivating, and infused with compassion, Lifeguarding affirms the flexible strength of love itself; how family bonds must often bend to the point of breaking . . . and beyond.


From the Hardcover edition.
Show less
In her sharply observed and ultimately redemptive memoir, Catherine McCall paints a vivid and sometimes heartbreaking portrait of growing up in a complicated Southern family, whose perfect façade hides crippling imperfections.

There are two parents, three children, and five ghosts in the McCall family. With their preppie clothes and country-club smiles, the McCalls look like all the other East End Louisville families. No one knows there are problems, that an internal gash the size of the Ohio river is flooding the family. All Cathy and her siblings can do is promise to stick together no matter what—and swim.

But even though they are fast, the McCall kids can’t outdistance their father’s destructive habits and their mother’s worry. As her family reaches a breaking point and an unexpected love blooms, thirteen-year-old Cathy finds she must keep secrets of her own. Though the love in this family is strong, Cathy must discover if it’s tenacious enough to withstand the truth.

Candid, captivating, and infused with compassion, Lifeguarding affirms the flexible strength of love itself; how family bonds must often bend to the point of breaking . . . and beyond.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
eBook (256 pages)
Published: July 11, 2006
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Crown
ISBN: 9780307345820
Other books byCatherine McCall
  • When the Piano Stops

    When the Piano Stops
    A Memoir of Healing from Sexual Abuse
    Catherine McCall appeared to have all an American girl could want: well-to-do cosmopolitan parents, a private education, a strong faith foundation — even two baby grand pianos at her fingertips. But beneath this perfect façade, her family hid a horrific secret. No one could have guessed there was an actual torture chamber in the basement of 763 Montgomery Place, or that McCall was being raped repeatedly by her father. And by the age of eighteen, she didn’t know either — she had repressed every memory of abuse. Twenty years later, married and with children of her own, McCall's memories began to return. When the Piano Stops is McCall's revealing memoir detailing the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mentally ill father and her remarkable recovery as an adult. Now a highly successful family therapist, her ability to overcome the dark years of childhood is an inspiration to those who have been sexually abused. Her prose is lucid, with early events narrated from the perspective of a child, giving her story a stark authenticity and immediacy. A true survivor memoir, When the Piano Stops is poised to change the face of literature on the topic of sexual abuse.

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