“Sage Island weds seamless flapper-era detail with a mesmerizing story of athletic obsession. Savanna Mason’s desperate underwater odyssey is an unforgettable, near-visceral reading experience.”
“The art and adrenaline rush of swimming has been poetically and powerfully captured. Warwick successfully launches you into the depths of heart-thumping history. You can’t help but dive in and not surface until the book is completed.”
-Joanne Malar, World Champion and three-time Olympic swimmer
Swimming wild, I am a tiny speck in an enormous ocean, haunted with life and fear and fossilized secrets.
Swimming through the deepest, coldest water, Savanna Mason discovers the place where her spirit is free and secure. Yet something is beginning to go wrong. At nineteen, she is drowning in a competitive rivalry with the great champion Trudy Ederle, and obsessed with inner doubts she can barely name. In search of her own life’s meaning, Savi travels to compete in the famous Wrigley Ocean Marathon—a twenty-two mile race from Catalina Island to Los Angeles. Along the way she questions the meaning of defeat and achievement, and begins to discover the strength of her own mind and heart. An exploration of the carefree 1920s, with vivid glimpses of Prohibition, class antagonism and the evolving attitudes of the Flapper era, Sage Island is a poignant coming-of-age novel about a young woman, diving and surfacing.
“Keep your eye on those small Canadian presses. They may lack the marketing budget of big leaguers like HarperCollins and Random House but each year they publish some of the best emerging writers anywhere. A case in point is Samantha Warwick and her debut novel Sage Island, released in September by Victoria’s Brindle & Glass. Set against the exciting backdrop of 1920s New York, Sage Island chronicles the coming of age of its young heroine Savanna Mason as she deals with relationships and personal flaws while seeking fame as one of the best competitive swimmers of her generation.”
“Equipped with a broad swimming background, Warwick is able to stylishly execute a witty and much-needed realistic swim-based drama climaxed by the momentous open-water swimming race, the 1927 Wrigley’s Ocean Marathon. Like a first-time national qualifier who astonishingly strikes gold, Warwick’s literary skills have launched her shoulder-to-shoulder with veteran novelists while delivering a golden piece of history. . . .I believe Sage Island will soar, whether the reader can dog-paddle or not.”
“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 and Mail
Brindle & Glass, Canada, September 2008
Shortlisted for the Alberta Literary Award