Even though I thoroughly enjoyed Lucy Clarke's debut novel, Swimming at Night, I needed to psych myself up before tackling her latest, A Single Breath. I knew it was going to be heavy and emotional but oh, so good. And I was right. Clarke's second novel had everything I loved about her first and so much more. I'd call A Single Breath a must-read for the summer.
Here's the synopsis:
A young widow discovers her husband was not who he claimed to be—and finds herself falling in love with the wrong man.I'm a character person so I'm happy that I really liked Eva. She was multi-layered and real - which are things I always like in a heroine. I wanted to help her through this unimaginably tough time and I wanted to see how she'd be at the end of the book, where she'd end up after her incredibly hard journey. I also adored Callie, Eva's best friend. She wasn't in the novel a lot but when she was you could tell that she was probably the best BFF a girl could ask for. She intrigued me and I would love to read a novel from her perspective.
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 and visit Jackson’s estranged family 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, or will she be caught up in a romance with Saul, haunted by her husband’s past? Threading together beautiful, wild settings and suspenseful twists, A Single Breath is a gripping tale of secrets, betrayals, and new beginnings.
There's a mystery in A Single Breath but I wouldn't call it a mystery novel. There were so many little hints purposely sprinkled throughout and I loved it. Some were obvious but the reason behind it was not. I found myself thinking a few times that I had things figured out but I definitely did not. The uncertainty I had plays so well with the confusion Eva is feeling. This is a book where you're going to feel everything right alongside the main character.
I will definitely be looking forward to Clarke's next novel but I'm finding myself hoping that it's something completely different. Swimming at Night and A Single Breath were so similar and I want to see if Clarke can write something new. Both stories were good, don't get me wrong, I just want to see growth and a new kind of story from this author.
A Single Breath isn't a novel that would be on a typical beach reads list. It's not light, it's not funny, it doesn't have a brightly coloured cover. Instead, it has an incredibly gripping storyline and characters who will stick with you, all set in beautiful Tasmania. Lucy Clarke's second novel should definitely be on your summer to-read list and in your beach bag.
*A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher, Simon and Schuster Canada, in exchange for an honest review.*