Review: A Single Breath

Posted 4 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

A Single Breath
By: Lucy Clarke
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA

Eva has only been married for eight months when her husband, Jackson, is swept to his death while fishing. Weighed down by confusion and sorrow, Eva decides to take leave of her midwifery practice in London and visit Jackson’s estranged family in Tasmania with the hope of grieving together.

Instead, she discovers that the man she loved so deeply is not the man she thought she knew. Jackson’s father and brother reveal a dark past, exposing the lies her marriage was built upon. As Eva struggles to come to terms with the depth of Jackson’s deception, she must also confront her growing attraction to Jackson’s brother, Saul, who offers her intimacy, passion, and answers to her most troubling questions.

Will Eva be able to move forward in life, or will she be caught up in a romance with Saul, haunted by her husband’s past?

The author’s name sort of slipped my attention but it was only after I first heard of the premise of this novel from the publishers that I remembered: I had added her other novel, Swimming at Night (or The Sea Sisters depending on your edition (the copy I ordered is under the latter title)), to my wishlist some time ago. Anyway, the premise of this novel sounded interesting–my type of novel! The publishers kindly provided me an advanced reading copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This book will be available on 8 July 2014.

Also, be sure to pop in to this post for a Q&A with the author, Lucy Clarke, courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA 🙂

Oh my goodness, I could not put this book down once I started reading it; forget class or sleep, I just needed to know what was going to happen next! The novel pretty much grabbed me from the first chapter and once the story got moving and Eva travelled back to Tasmania to visit her husband’s family and come to terms with her grief, it’s been one just one shocker after another (another reason why it was so difficult to put down; you tell yourself one more chapter and then there’s a shocker at the end of the chapter and it’s like “Well, I have to read the next chapter now!”). No, seriously, this was me for a good chunk of the novel:


(gif source)

But in a good way, of course! 🙂 Some of the developments were a little predictable and expected but the mystery, revelations and complications were entertaining to read and unravel. It could have gotten a bit overly-melodramatic but it wasn’t; the progression of events felt natural and the questions raised along the way were legitimate ones. Some of the decisions that some of the characters faced were handled in a very adult and reasonable manner, which was encouraging.

I really felt for Eva, her grief was quite raw and palpable and pretty realistic. And then to find out over the course of the novel what was really going on with her husband led her through such a topsy-turvy whirlwind of emotions, it’s a shock that she made it through without losing her mind completely or been like–


(gif source; okay, this was an excuse to use this excellent gif)

–halfway through.

The rest of the characters in this novel were great; there were a few that could have easily had fallen flat or two-dimensional but there was more than meets the eye in both cases and added to the overall intrigue of the story. The location was also put into good use, an interesting choice to which the drama plays out. The ocean is always in the backdrop somehow, serving as a place of solace and a place to escape to.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading A Single Breath, it kept me wondering up to the very end. I don’t know what else to say about this novel lest I end up spoiling the whole thing (and it’s really one of those novels to experience for yourself) 😛 It would certainly make the perfect summer/beach read, I highly recommend it 🙂

Oh, also, the primary lesson learned from this book? Don’t lie, boys and girls.

Rating: ★★★★★

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