In the spirit of The Glass Castle and The Burning Light of Two Stars, Antonia Deignan delivers what New York Times best-selling author Julie Cantrell calls a “a heart-shattering memoir of painful truth and soulful healing.”
As a child, Antonia perceived her father’s nighttime visits as special acts of love. On some deeper level, though, she knew what was happening wasn’t right. To escape, she began creating imaginary worlds and used dreams to transport her away from her fears. As she got older, Antonia traded those fantasies for dance—but despite her outlets she remained trapped underwater, without a lifeline to make her feel fundamentally safe.
For years, Antonia silently navigated the dark fathoms of her internalized pain, which manifested in myriad self-destructive habits: disordered eating, drug and alcohol abuse. Only decades later, while recovering from a serious bike accident, did she finally stop running and start reflecting—giving her the power to fully accept what had happened to her in her early life and ultimately forgive the unforgivable.
Raw and visceral yet gorgeously lyrical, Underwater Daughter masterfully conveys not only the rippling effects of childhood trauma but also the hope that with honesty and work, healing is possible.