Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Review: A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke

Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: April 8, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."
Eva is tremendously happy. She's married to Jackson, the love of her life, and they are visiting her mother at a coastal town in England.  Jackson, who loves to fish, heads out on the rocks one morning to do just that and leaves Eva warm in their bed.  But the waves are extremely rough that day and according to witnesses, he slips and falls under.  Things aren't looking good for Jackson as the current pulls him out to sea and the water is freezing cold.  Obviously, Eva is devastated as he most definitely drowned.  She has only been married to Jackson for less than two years and they were just starting their lives together.  Jackson's family lives in Tasmania, so she decides to visit his father as she has never met him and feels it will help her come to grips with the awful tragedy.  His father, Dirk, isn't much help and is an alcoholic, so she decides to visit Jackson's estranged brother, Saul, who lives off of Tasmania on Wattleboon Island.  It's there Eva is confronted with the truth about Jackson and it's one shocking piece of information and life-altering truth after another.  Lucy Clarke's A Single Breath is an emotional page turner.  With the secrets that unfold, the slow building romance and the exotic location, this novel makes for excellent summertime reading.

Oh man. Poor Eva. Seriously. She had some bad luck in A Single Breath. Everything that could go wrong did and she had to deal with a lot…more than just her husband's untimely death. She had to deal with deception; her world was turned completely upside down.  I really liked her overall and felt a lot of sympathy for her.  I understood why she needed to go to Tasmania to connect with his family.  The secrets that unfold are shocking and I just couldn't get enough. I HAD to know what was going to happen to Eva next and how she was going to handle the series of unfortunate events that was quickly becoming her new reality.

Jackson's brother Saul is such a good guy that I was rooting for the entire time in A Single Breath. Don't get me wrong though. It was a little weird to me that they had a connection, because after all it's Jackson's brother! As they spent more and more time together, romantic feelings blossomed.  That was a little strange for me, but I went with it and I am glad I did, because thanks to Saul, Eva realizes that Jackson isn't who she thought he was.  At ALL!

A Single Breath is perfect for a lazy summer afternoon or while on vacation, because the setting is absolutely breathtaking.  Eva goes free diving a lot and Clarke does a good job describing the ocean, the sea life, and the beautiful beach.  Can I please go to Wattleboon Island for an extended vacation?

Clarke combines the best ingredients for a beach read. There's suspense, romance, a beautiful location, and secrets that unfold slowly which made me not want to put A Single Breath down. Simply put, it's a fantastic beach read. Recommended. 


  1. This sounds really good! While it would be weird for her to fall for his brother it may not bother me if it turns out Jackson was a horrible person...I definitely want to know what happens!

    1. The whole brother love interest was definitely a turn-off for me (at first) but then I warmed up to it as the story progressed. The secrets surrounding Jackson were crazy! I hope you get to read this one, Christina. Thanks for visiting!

  2. I got this book from the publisher as well - can't wait to delve in. Great review!

    1. Ohhh! I can't wait to hear your thoughts, Ashley. Be sure to let me know. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Sounds good. Reminds me of that movie Catch and Release. Have you seen it? He dies early on in their marriage and she discovers all these things about him after his passing. Great review!

    1. OMG. YOu are right! I remember that movie….very similar! Thanks for visiting, Juju!


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