Book Review: A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke

A Single BreathWhat’s it about?

The deeper the water, the darker the secrets

There were so many times I thought about telling you the truth, Eva. What stopped me was always the same thing…

When Eva’s husband Jackson tragically drowns, she longs to meet his estranged family. The journey takes her to Jackson’s brother’s doorstep on a remote Tasmanian island. As strange details about her husband’s past begin to emerge, memories of the man she married start slipping through her fingers like sand, as everything she ever knew and loved about him is thrown into question. Now she’s no longer sure whether it was Jackson she fell in love with – or someone else entirely…

The truth is, it was all a lie . . .

My thoughts

This was our latest book club read and a book from an author that I’ve not read before.

Told from Eva’s perspective (with some interspersed pages from Jackson) we’re painted a picture of an idyllic whirlwind romance leading to marriage.  When Jackson drowns leaving behind a devastated Eva she becomes desperate for answers over her husband’s past.  After travelling to his home town she begins to discover everything she knew was built on a lie and gradually over the course of the book the level of deception is revealed.

I did have some issues with elements of believability; Eva’s visiting with people from Jackson’s past and the things she does in other people’s homes – I wasn’t convinced of this. There were also a few repeated phrases (the heat between them is one I recall overly used, I got a bit bored with reading the same descriptions.

The writing style is easy and flowing, the clues are there for the reader to pick up on. Although I had a feeling I knew where the story was going after Jackson’s death and was right; the majority of the plot is quite predictable. This book is less of a mystery and more about the romance which isn’t what I was expecting and it reminded me of TS Krupa’s Safe and Sound – the things you learn when a partner dies….intriguing!

I didn’t overly love the ending either, I needed a more definitive conclusion but I’m left wondering what happens after.

It was a nice touch with the author’s personal photo’s at the end of the book from her time in Tasmania but I don’t think I’ll be reading more.

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