Try Not To Breathe
Allen & Unwin
A woman’s search for the truth about a brutal attack on a teenage girl puts her in danger in this tense, emotionally-charged psychological thriller: perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train or The Book of You.
Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she’s cut herself off from everything but her one true love – drink. Until she’s forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.
Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park not far from her house. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She’s as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.
Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma…
This is a narrative that sparkles on so many fronts! This is a remarkable debut novel – though to be fair, Holly Seddon has been writing since she stepped out of college and into the freelance world at least fifteen years ago, this however is her first novel. You cannot tell – the writing her is succinct, polished and oh so addictive. I loved this read.
Try Not to Breathe is a book that is written mostly from the view point of Alex – a woman who is addicted to alcohol, a compulsion that dictates and ruins her life (mostly). This is a very confronting look at addiction – it is not however at all despondent or a self-indulgent look at this world – it is a matter of fact, almost clinical in description and Alex has almost accepted that this is her life until she stumbles across Amy and her story. Amy has been hospitalised and in an unresponsive state since she suffered a horrendous physical attack. She cannot communicate with the outside world. Another impressive revelation of life as we could not possibly imagine it – but there is hope. This “personal” story is mind blowing!
Two very personal revealing narrative threads, three if you consider Jacob’s story which is also very much integral to the overall story arc.
And then we have a mystery – who attacked Amy? A cold case reopened. Redemption and hope and justice eventuate. Brilliantly written, engaging, eye opening, tragic but with a sense of optimism…just loved it! I can’t wait to read what Holly Seddon comes up with next.
This sounds as though there are two really interesting character studies here, Carol. Fascinating! And some very interesting past/present connections, too. Glad you enjoyed it.
Margot this was excellent and all consuming – just the way I like a book to be – to fully engage. It has so much to offer- great character studies, engaging narrative …
I really liked this too but I’m still baffled by the title, just doesn’t seem very relevant
Does it maybe reflect the original crime – if the victim tried not to breath, lay still, feigned death, maybe the perpetrator might walk away? Just guessing?
Maybe, but there is nothing that really marks that as significant
True. It is worth asking the question 🙂