Title: In the Water They Can’t See You Cry
Author: Amanda Beard, Rebecca Paley
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 8 hours 13 minutes
Last week we kicked off the 2012 Games by recommending some Olympic-inspired titles, including In the Water They Can’t See You Cry. Check out the fantastic review below, written by one of our biggest audio book fans here in the office, the lovely Pam:
I’ve been watching the games all week and it’s clear to me that elite athletes have power, strength, and determination. However, with the book In the Water They Can’t See You Cry, four-time Olympic athlete Amanda Beard, shows the world another kind of determination and strength. The book starts out by throwing the listener right into the chaos of Amanda’s later life. At first I thought I was listening to the wrong book, as Amanda describes a painful moment in her life that has nothing to do directly with swimming. Shocking and unnerving, this introduction makes you wonder how she got to such a desperate place in her life. The listener is then taken back to Amanda’s childhood where her love of swimming and her inner turmoil began to take its toll.
Amanda went to her first Olympics at age 14 and found it boring – something that honestly made me cringe to listen to as there are so many athletes that would have done anything to be in her spot. She goes into a little detail about her early training and her times at the Olympics early on in the book, but this book is mainly about her struggle with self-doubt and troubled personal relationships that eventually lead her to cutting and bulimia. We see Amanda’s story unfold as she achieved great success at a young age and then listen to her strive to maintain that success. For me, what really hit home was the way she dealt with her body image issues and the way the media perpetuates impossible standards. Amanda’s willingness to come clean about all her personal battles was inspiring—especially since most people would have never guessed such a battle was being waged beneath the surface of her ‘perfect’ public life. I am not an athlete, nor have I had to deal with the type of issues she’s faced but I was able to connect with her struggles and enjoyed the little glimpse of the swimming world Amanda brought to life in her book.
I have listened to many books narrated by Tavia Gilbert, and she again does an amazing job with this book. Through Gilbert’s wonderful talents, Amanda becomes the young girl, the competitive athlete, the lost soul and the life champion you find yourself rooting for.
If you’re looking for a book that simply tells the story of the Olympics from an athlete’s perspective, I’m sorry but this book is not for you. But if you want a Gold Medal performance of an Olympian’s true story about overcoming professional and personal hardships in the public eye, then In the Water They Can’t See You Cry is definitely the listen you’re looking for.