Samantha Warwick

Sage Island – a novel

A novelization of the 1927 Wrigley Ocean Marathon Swim across the Catalina Channel as told through the eyes of a swimmer trapped in the shadow of Gertrude Ederle.

“Think Marilyn Bell with bob, kohl-lined eyes, bee-stung lips and attitude to spare… Savi, on the verge of becoming one of life’s long-distance losers and obsessed with acing the chewing-gum-sponsored 22-mile open-water swim, hits the waves while Warwick hits fever-pitch prose rhythms effortlessly, gliding into near-poetry that alchemically takes readers along for the marathon stretch… [Sage Island] will leave readers both satisfied and wanting more, as all fine first novels ought to do… It’s a thoughtfully engrossing charmer worth the price of admission.” — THE GLOBE & MAIL

“The pace is brisk, the plot commanding, the characters vivid and sympathetic, the philosophy never intrusive.”

A photo by Maciej Serafinowicz.

It’s the mid-1920s and New York is shimmering with the hope and vigour of a younger generation in headlong pursuit of greater freedoms and pleasures. Watching from the sidelines, nineteen-year-old Savanna Mason struggles with the gravity of her perceived failures, finding release and security in the water. Savi believes that her swimming has the power to change her world. Just as it seems this notion has been shattered for good, she embarks on a journey to compete in the Wrigley Ocean Marathon—a twenty-two-mile swimming race from Catalina Island to Los Angeles. Inspired by true events, with vivid glimpses of Prohibition, class antagonism and the evolving attitudes of the flapper era, Sage Island is a poignant novel about a young woman, diving and surfacing.


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