Book Review: A Single Breath


The deeper the water, the darker the secrets. 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. 


ashley | I read Lucy Clarke’s debut novel Swimming at Night last year and while I thought the book had more potential, I loved Clarke’s voice and the way she pieced her story together. A Single Breath, Clarke’s most recent novel, embraces these elements that I loved and stands much stronger than her last.

I couldn’t help but see the similarities between this and P.S. I Love You (at least the movie version, anyway). Anyone who has seen that movie might agree. This usually really bothers me, how can someone not see how similar something is? But even so, I also couldn’t help but be swept up in Eva’s journey to her late husband’s homeland, where she discovers the truth about his past and maybe even finds her future.

For most of the book, we just sit back and watch as Eva tries to unravel her husband’s past and overcome all the hurdles that life keeps throwing her way. Through all of this, my heart kept breaking for Eva. She’s a very well constructed character; I can easily see myself in her, or see some of my friends in her, and that makes the book and her complicated situation all the more real.

I find myself thinking about how Eva is doing even after I put the book down, like she truly is a friend who is going through hell. This is the kind of chick lit I love to read, the kind of story that allows me to lose myself in it and in the characters, making their life part of my own.

Thankfully, Clarke made the ending of this novel her own and didn’t just follow along with where things seemed to be heading. That in itself left me with a satisfied feeling. A Single Breath, as a whole, was a nice breath of fresh air, filling me with a light, summery feel that reminds me of why I love reading so much.


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