- Biography & Memoir
Praised by Robert MacFarlene – the brave and inspirational story of overcoming anxiety through wild swimming.
This is one man’s journey, swimming across Britain’s countryside and immersing in the sometimes icy waters while coming to terms with something more challenging than the choppy waters of the English Channel. As Joe Minihane comes up for air, he discovers that swimming is both a joyous activity and a voyage into oneself.
Minihane became obsessed with wild swimming and its restorative qualities, developing a new-found passion by following the example of naturalist Roger Deakin in his classic Waterlog. While fighting the currents, sometimes treading water, Minihane begins to confront the buried issues in his life. Along the way, he rekindles old friendships and forges new ones, and after an unexpected setback discovers that he has already gained enough strength to continue his recovery on dry land.
Both strange and beautiful, the wild water puts him in touch with nature and himself. Floating is a remarkable memoir about a passion for swimming and nature. Moving from darkness into light, it is as intense and moving as it is lyrical and generous. It captures in memorable detail Minihane’s struggle to understand his life, to move forward and, steeped in the anti-authoritarian and naturalistic spirit of Deakin, celebrates the joy of taking time to enjoy life. From Hampstead to Yorkshire, and Dorset to Jura, from the Isles of Scilly to Wales, Minihane has written a love letter to wild stretches of water. We swim with him through ponds and lakes, rivers and canals, lodes and marshes, even the ice-cold sea and come out of the water healthier.
‘Engaging and enjoyable… as much a commentary on the changing nature of Britain as a celebration of wild swimming’ The Idler
‘A string of immersive green dreams, from still, pollen-dusted ponds of warm days to the cold churning power of the sea… this is an effortless, absorbing read. Floating highlights the beautiful variety of outdoor swims possible in Britain and the great positive impact they can have.’ Caught by the River
‘We follow Minihane as he teams up with various friends to tackle swims in public pools, murky canals, sparkling lakes and fierce waves… anyone who has enjoyed the recent raft of ‘nature as therapy’ books would find this a good read’ Nudge Books
'Genuine and refreshing' Kirkus Reviews
'A gem... so thoughtful. Prose as clean and beautiful as a good swim' Jessica Lee (author of Turning)
‘Lovely, lively, passionate… a celebration of nature’s ability to inspire healing and joy’ Robert MacFarlane, author of Landmarks
‘I love this book… this has to sit next to Waterlog in every swimmer’s library’ Jenny Landreth, author of Swell: A Waterbiography
‘Minihane writes with a compulsive honesty and clarity that draws you into its stream as beguiling as any river Deakin ever swam – a wonderful read. Highly recommended!’ Kate Rew founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society
‘A wonderful book: a love letter to wild swimming, a hate letter to anxiety and a story of how we can learn to live with ourselves, our overclocked minds, even after we climb out of the water’ Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine
'Minihane finds in swimming a rare moment of being free from anxiety and learns that it can be integral in overcoming depression' Wanderlust