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Critical Praise

"A beautifully rendered and poignant family drama that teems with the life of early 20th Century America...Schoenewaldt has given us a whole universe between the covers of this book."



"It's 1910 and Cleveland is a rough grimy place if you're poor and an immigrant. Lucia, a heroine you won't forget, is on the run and right off the boat from Italy. Not only that, she's alone and caring for her mother, a half crazy singer and the kind of Diva that would be in People magazine if it were today. There's a love story, of course, and a cast of wonderful characters from all over the world, but what's at the heart of this beautiful book, is not the romance between Lucia and Henryk, the young Jewish grocer, or even Lucia's passion for social justice and her work for the unions, it's the relationship between mother and daughter. As the mother descends into madness, Lucia must choose to protect her and try to bring her back or to forge her way into the future. It makes you wonder, what would you do?"

    — Patricia Harman, author of THE MIDWIFE OF HOPE RIVER



"Lush with historical detail, SWIMMING IN THE MOONcelebrates the power of the mother-daughter relationship. Pamela Schoenewaldt delivers another novel full of richly realized characters, who transport us to the immigrant neighborhoods of early twentieth century America."

    — Jessica Brockmole, author of LETTERS FROM SKYE


"A beautifully drawn novel about what is the deepest and most important love story of our lives: that of a mother and daughter. SWIMMING IN THE MOON brings history alive with such passion and attention to detail - I was just carried along by the characters and did not want the story to end. A book to savor by an accomplished female voice."

    — Kate Kerrigan, New York Times bestselling author of ELLIS ISLAND


"SWIMMING IN THE MOON is a beautifully told coming-of-age story about a resourceful immigrant girl in the 1900s whose passionate, troubled mother constantly threatens what little stability they achieve. From the sun-baked cobblestones of Naples to a crowded boardinghouse in Cleveland to a grand vaudeville hall in Chicago, Pamela Schoenewaldt brings to vivid life a compelling, richly detailed world."

— Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of ORPHAN TRAIN