Swimming in the Dark

By Paddy Richardson

Serena Freeman is a fifteen-year-old Alexandra girl from a dysfunctional family on the wrong side of the law. She finds herself pregnant following an unwilling sexual encounter with a police officer. Ilse Klein, her school teacher and a former citizen of Leipzig (where she endured loss and distrust under the rule of the Stasi) takes the dangerous risk of hiding Serena. Gerda Klein, Ilse’s mother, has been broken by the Stasi. After years of living in dread in Leipzig, she wants a quiet life in New Zealand. No involvement, no risk. Ilse’s actions and Serena’s suffering force her to confront her own past. It is she who summons the courage to save them all. A fast-paced and beautifully told story of three women and the real meaning of courage.

Warning: Not suitable for children. Some sexual episodes and a violent death, all of which are vital for the narrative/character development and which are treated as delicately as possible while still telling the story.

Told by Michele Amas

Produced by Duncan Smith and engineered by Phil Brownlee