Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Modern cultural, literary and linguistic perspectives

Krisztina Kodó: A Story of Two Cultures in Doreen Finn’s Night Swimming (2019)

Book review

DOI 10.51313/Freeside-2020-2-11


Doreen Finn’s novel Night Swimming (2019) is set during the summer heatwave of 1976 Dublin. The story is narrated by the nine-year-old Irish girl, Megan, who lives in a large Victorian house with her mother (Gemma) and grandmother (Sarah). An American family rent their downstairs flat, and this encounter of two cultures provides the framework for the entire story in which American and Irish sensibilities, mentalities, stereotypical features, and cultural markers are set against each other. The motif that permeates the entire work is the metaphor “night swimming”, which highlights the notion of going against the expected norms set by society. The loss of innocence involved envelops all the characters one way or another, and to which all must react in their own way. In the end, all the characters are forced to “grow up” and come to terms with their lives and their environment.


Cultural symbolism, stereotypical images, loss of innocence, social obligations

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ISSN 1786-7967

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