A Single Breath – Lucy Clarke

Published 27 March 2014 by Touchstone & Harper Collins




From Goodreads:

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:

Eva has only been married to Jackson for 8 months when he is tragically killed in a fishing accident.  Devastated, she decides to go to his homeland of Tasmania  in Australia to visit his family (who she has never met) to connect with people who knew him and who could tell her about his early life on the island.   However, what she finds out shakes her to the core and makes her wonder just how much she actually knew about her husband. 

I really enjoyed Lucy Clarke’s debut novel, The Sea Sisters, and was so looking forward to reading this.  I was drawn into the story straight away. It started out as a beautifully crafted story of love and loss and then turned into something quite different with lies, deception and intrigue.   As the story unfolds, Eva has to cope with ever more shocking disclosures.  At first she doesn’t believe what she has been told but with each layer of Jackson’s deception being revealed she begins to doubt the foundations on which their relationship was built and whether he actually loved her at all.

With clever structuring, the author has also included Jackson’s voice in the narration which adds to the mystery and gives depth to the storyline along with wonderfully drawn characters, all showing a full range of emotions from despair and loss to denial and anger.  

The author’s obvious love of the water and travelling shone through in this story as the descriptions both of the exotic Tasmanian landscape and seascapes, including the underwater diving scenes were mesmerizing. I’ve never been that keen on sea swimming but even I could imagine myself under the water looking at a whole new world. 

Part psychological thriller/mystery/love story this is a book that you won’t be able to put down.  I loved it and can’t wait for Lucy Clarke’s next book.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Touchstone for the digital copy to review. 

About the author:

Lucy Clarke has a first class degree in English Literature, and is a passionate traveller and diarist.

She has worked as a presenter of social enterprise events and a creative writing workshop leader. Lucy is now a full-time novelist.

Lucy is married to James Cox, a professional windsurfer, and together they spend their winters travelling and their summers at their home on the south coast of England.

You can follow Lucy via her Website, Twitter, or Facebook

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2 Comments

  1. 23rd May 2014 / 2:38 pm

    I applied to read and review this one as I thought it sounded really interesting – I love the sea, swimming and all things water based – but unfortunately I was refused (Netgalley) You can't win them all! I will read it at some time in the future though. Thank you for sharing your reading experience and thoughts in your lovely review.

    • 23rd May 2014 / 2:59 pm

      Thanks Joan, I think I was approved by the American publisher for this one. Well worth reading if you can get hold of a copy.

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