Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview & review: A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke

Welcome to author Lucy Clark.  Enjoy her interview after my thoughts on her latest book A Single Breath.

Author: Lucy Clarke
Publisher: Touchstone
Date of publication: April 8, 2014

Eva Bowe has only been married for eight months when her husband, Jackson, is swept to his death while fishing on a cold December morning. Weighed down by confusion and sorrow, Eva decides to take leave of her midwifery practice in London and visit Jackson’s family in Tasmania 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 realizes everything that she believed to be true about her husband’s life in the years before their meeting—is borrowed entirely from someone else’s life. 
Eva must also confront her growing attraction to Jackson’s brother, Saul, whose life bears an eerie resemblance to Jackson’s invented one. The attraction is mutual as Saul offers her intimacy and passion, while answering Eva’s most troubling questions.  Unsure whether she will be able to move forward in life, or be forever haunted by her husband’s past, Eva realizes her greatest dilemma: which brother has she really fallen in love with? 
My thoughts:
I really enjoyed A Single Breath.  It's a beautifully written and engaging book.  I flew through it because I just had to see how Eva was going to end up after so much tragedy.  After her husband dies, she travels to Tasmania to visit his family.  She isn't received well and soon finds out that everything her husband Jackson told her was a lie.  Did he ever really love her and where does she go from here?

This is one of those book that has some major surprises that would ruin the book if discussed in a review, so I'll leave them out.  I was surprised at most of the things that Eva finds out about Jackson.  As each lie is uncovered, I began to really despise the man and was kind of glad he was out of Eva's life.  I really felt for her though.  I thought the author did a amazing job of walking the reader through Eva's grief as she mourns each new lie her husband told her. But, the book isn't all heavy because as with mourning and loss there is also healing and the promise of hope.  Eva finds that in Saul, Jackson's brother.  I was so rooting for them through to the end!  While Jackson and Eva's romance was whirlwind and intense, the love that grows between Saul and Eva is gradual and deep.  Their relationship just made sense to me.

This is a wonderful book and one I highly recommend to any reader.  I really makes me want to visit Australia even more and maybe try free diving!  I look forward to seeing what comes next from this wonderful writer.

Autumn & Kari: What inspired you to become a writer?

Lucy: It wasn’t so much a case of something or someone inspiring me to become a novelist, rather it was desire within me that took some time to find. I always assumed I’d have a career in business and I pushed aside all the signals that I’d perhaps make a good writer: I’ve always kept diaries and journals; I read voraciously; I studied English Literature at university; I’m at my happiest with a notebook and pen in my hand. 
I was about 24 when I realized that I’d love to be a novelist. Then there was the small matter of actually doing it. Like most people, I had to work to support myself whilst trying to make it happen, so I set up a small business delivering events in schools, which afforded me both an income, but also a flexible schedule so I could always make time to write. It took me until I was 30 to sign my first book deal. I sold my business and am grateful daily for the luxury of now being a full-time novelist.

Autumn & Kari: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Lucy: Many of my ideas come from experiences I’ve had whilst travelling. I spend each winter abroad and keep a travel journal whenever I’m away. I also have an ‘ideas folder’ that I keep at home, which is filled with threads of thought written on scraps of paper over the years: a snippet from a conversation, a description of a character, a hook for a plot. Usually it’s a combination of notes from my travel journals and ideas folder that are where the seeds of my novels grow from.

Autumn & Kari: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Lucy: I’m currently writing my third novel – and loving every moment of it! The working title is The Blue, and the novel is set on a yacht sailing towards the South Pacific, crewed by a group of travellers. Best friends, Lana and Kitty, join the yacht in the Philippines and sail through crystal blue lagoons, and remote, uninhabited islands. But, on a 10-day ocean crossing, the crew wake to discover one of their friends is missing – and no one claims to know anything. Disturbed by the disappearance, relationships between the crew begin to fracture, and Lana and Kitty’s friendship is stretched to breaking point.

Autumn & Kari: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Lucy: Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is a mischievous, lovable sprite, with a zest for life, romance and laughter. What’s not to love?

Autumn & Kari: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Lucy: An albatross. All those beautiful lonely oceans views; drifting on thermal currents and breezes; being able to sleep as you fly. Plus, I love that albatrosses mate for life.

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.

Twitter: lucyclarkebooks

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