Thursday, 13 November 2014

72. Book Review - A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke

Hello everyone! I'm in the process of writing my literature review on antibiotic resistance at university so I thought I may as well review some (non-scientific) literature on here too. I adore reading and the last book I read was Stoner by John Williams (highly recommend it) which I finished in September so a good read was long overdue. The book I have just finished reading is A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke which is centred around midwife Eva, her husband Jackson and Jackson's brother. Saul. After a fishing accident during a storm, Jackson dies leaving his wife of less than a year completely devastated. Jackson is originally from Tasmania so Eva heads out there as she is struggling to cope with her loss and wants to understandably be closer to her husband's loved ones to find out more about his past. When Eva arrives in Australia, Jackson's father, Dirk is cold towards her and not the man she thought she knew from the letters he sent her. Eva then goes onto meet Saul who Jackson fell out with years ago where she discovers her husband is not the man he told her he was. Over the course of the book, we discover amongst other things; why Jackson and Saul fell out, what Jackson was doing on the flight where he and Eva first met and why Jackson's death is not the only reason Dirk has turned to alcohol. 

My favourite parts of A Single Breath were the detailed descriptions of free diving and the beach that Lucy provides. This book has really made me want to go travelling. I've always wanted to go to Australia to see all the fascinating species it is home to and Lucy's descriptions of the marine life have made that desire stronger. I loved the part where Eva and Saul spot the sea dragon, it may sound strange but when you read the book, you'll realise that it was a special moment. I mean obviously it was a special moment, have you seen how beautiful and surreal these creatures are? Organisms like this make me really appreciate being a biologist. 

Anyway, back to the book, I also liked the way most of the chapters ended with a message from Jackson to Eva on the events described in the previous chapter. They allowed the reader to find out more about Jackson, some of the reasons behind his actions as well as building up the suspense quite nicely. A Single Breath covers several delicate topics ranging from broad issues like grief and trust to sibling rivalry and alcoholism rather well. 

Although I could not put the book down, there were some twists that I predicted beforehand, one of them being the cause of the bush fire (that's all I will say as I don't want to give too much away). I also feel there was room to explore the relationship between Eva and her mother particularly after they both experience the same losses. 

Rating: 4/5 

Let me know if any of you have already read A Single Breath or if I have convinced you to do so!

Until next time, take care.


Mancunian Sheep x