Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke

Title: A Single Breath
Author: Lucy Clarke

Publisher: Touchstone

Published Date: April 8, 2014

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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.

My Thoughts:

A Single Breath, by Lucy Clarke, is a fantastic novel that takes readers on a mysterious adventure with many shocking twists. It is not often that a book shocks me, but A Single Breath surprised me multiple times. What would you do if the man you fell madly in love with and married died tragically? For two years you live what seems to be the perfect life, however suddenly your whole world shifts upside down. Eva faces this stark reality after her husband, Jackson, is killed in an early morning fishing accident. In the midst of mourning Jackson's death, Eva decides that she wants to learn more about Jackson's life prior to their relationship. 

Eva and Jackson were still very much in the newlywed stage at the time of his death. With no closure in sight, Eva travels to Jackson's hometown in Australia to meet his family- the family Jackson kept her away from. However, if she was expecting a welcoming party she was sorely mistaken. Jackson's father, Dirk, wants nothing to do with her and his brother Saul did not even know of her existence. This doesn't deter Eva though, she is determined to find out who the man she married really was.

Eva begins to realize in her search that certain things about her life with Jackson seems off.  Is it possible that Jackson was not the man she thought he was? Was she so blinded by love that she couldn't see the truth? By doing some investigating, Eva comes to find that the majority of her life with Jackson was a big lie. How would you feel? Would you still be devastated by his passing?  Would you feel angry at him?  Would you want answers?  Or would you want to leave it all behind and start fresh? These are all questions Eva has to face with the loss of Jackson. 

I absolutely loved the characters of Eva, Saul, Jackson, and Dirk. Lucy Clarke did a wonderful job of creating flawed yet three-dimensional characters that the reader became attached to. I very much cared for every character and throughout the novel couldn't wait to see what would happen next. 

The dynamic that is uncovered between the two brothers was unexpected and well written. Throughout the book Jackson's consciousness explains his thoughts and motives regarding Eva. This was a great way for the author to let her audience know where he was coming from. While Jackson was flawed and a huge liar, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him and wish the best for him. He was trying to escape his imperfect past and got caught up in one lie after another. He truly was a good person at heart but made horrible decisions.  This is seen in his relationship with Saul.  Saul has every reason to hate him, but finds that he still loves him deeply.

Lucy Clarke did a wonderful job of unraveling the mystery of Jackson. The revelations were not rushed and were timed perfectly. A Single Breath really is a wonderfully thought out and thought provoking novel. I enjoyed it from start to finish. If you are looking for a novel that has mystery, romance, suspense, and healing, A Single Breath is definitely for you. It is also a quick read because once you start it you will not want to put it down!

Lucy Clarke

*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, A Single Breath, for the purpose of review.*

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