Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke Review and Interview

Today on the blog I am joined by the talented Lucy Clarke.

 1) Hi Lucy thank you for coming over to Rea Book Reviews today to answer some questions for me. Firstly your debut novel The Sea Sisters received amazing reviews and was one of the hottest books of 2013, did this make you feel added pressure for book two?
Luckily there were eighteen months between finishing The Sea Sisters and it actually landing on the shelves over here in the UK, so in that time I wrote A Single Breath. I had no idea whether The Sea Sisters would take off or not, so I just got my head down and focused on my second novel. That removed a huge amount of pressure because, yes, I think it would have been very hard otherwise. Also, to avoid that sort of ‘slump’ when you’ve finished writing a book, I try to make sure that I have my next idea in mind a few months before completing a novel. That way, there’s no time to fret about writer’s block as the next idea is already fizzing and popping!

 2) For me A Single Breath was even better than The Sea Sisters and I think this is because of the suspense that you created, do you plan how you are going to include the twists before you start writing the book or do they come to you naturally as you progress with the book?
Thank you – it’s lovely to hear this. I do a lot of planning before I begin writing. I know the key events that will happen, and how the novel will end – but inevitably, as you write, things change. Many of my favourite twists in A Single Breath presented themselves as I started to inhabit the world of my characters. 

 3) Your descriptive writing style is breathtaking and sets the scene beautifully, did you spend time in Tasmania for research for this book? What other research did you do for this book?
I spent two winters in Tasmania researching. Very good friends of ours emigrated there, so my husband and I flew out to visit them in 2011. The place got under my skin and I loved the wild, frontier feel of the land, so decided to set a novel there. I went back the following winter on a research trip and had an incredible month doing a recce of the island, working out where specific events in the novel would take place, as well interviewing locals, including two fascinating marine biologists. I also learnt to scuba dive in Tasmania, which gave me a beautiful insight into the underwater world, and helped me write the freediving scenes within the novel.

4) Are you currently working on book three and is there anything you can tease us with? Will it be following the sea theme?
Yes, 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 clear 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 have seen anything. Disturbed by the disappearance, relationships between the crew begin to fracture, and Lana and Kitty’s friendship is stretched to breaking point. It’s a story of friendship, hedonism, and the delicate balance between truth and lies. 

 5) Where do you usually write?
My favourite place to write, where I have my clearest thought, has always been by the sea. I’ve grown up on the south coast of England, so the sea has always been part of my life. Cities are wonderful and exciting places to be, but after a few days I feel an almost gravitational pull towards the coast. Our family has a beach hut where I tuck myself away to write. The hut is quiet, sits right on the sand, and has views stretching for miles. In the summer this is where I go to write, even on rainy, blustery days. Sometimes they’re the best! Plus it means I can take lovely breaks and go for beach strolls, swims, or a paddleboard. Winter is a bit more challenging. I have a ‘writing room’ at home and luckily my husband works from home too, otherwise I think I’d find the quiet a bit much. I generally don’t like to be confined to my desk, so I’ll often move around the house, using the lounge or bedroom to write in, too. And I absolutely have to get outside every day. We also travel for part of every winter, so when we’re away my writing space can be anywhere: a beach, a cafe, a hostel, an airport lounge. Sometimes a roaming office can be the best type of creative space there is.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. I am sure you all want to know more about A Single Breath now so check out my review below.

The deeper the water, the darker the secrets.

There were so many times I thought about telling you the truth, Eva. What stopped me was always the same thing… When Eva’s husband Jackson tragically drowns, she longs to meet his estranged family. The journey takes her to Jackson’s brother’s doorstep on a remote Tasmanian island. As strange details about her husband’s past begin to emerge, memories of the man she married start slipping through her fingers like sand, as everything she ever knew and loved about him is thrown into question. Now she’s no longer sure whether it was Jackson she fell in love with – or someone else entirely… The truth is, it was all a lie . . .

A Single Breath is Lucy Clarke’s second novel and one I have been eagerly awaiting after reading her stunning debut Sea Sisters last year.

After Eva’s husband Jackson drowns she is left heartbroken and feeling the need to be with his family over in Tasmania. There is one problem, Jackson’s family have never met Eva, so when she arrives she doesn’t receive the welcome she was hoping for and as her time on the Island increases more secrets are being discovered.

This was yet another masterpiece by Lucy Clarke. I was unsure if this author was going to be able to bring us another book like Sea Sisters but this was fantastic and in my honest opinion this book blows Sea Sisters out of the water.

The book quickly grabs your attention from the first chapter and manages to hold it all the way through. The best thing though for me about this book is the suspense. I cannot tell you the last time I read a book where I had absolutely no idea as to what secrets were going to be uncovered, this book had me clueless right until about 50 pages before the end so it was well and truly a compelling read. The author has a clever writing style where although she leaves a trail of crumbs of clues along the way it isn’t until you know the secrets that you look back and see the clues.

The book covers a variation of topics from secrets, lies and deceit to tragic events to heartbreak and romance so there really is a lot packed into this book for everyone to enjoy.

Eva was a very plain, ordinary character but this actually worked well with this book, I think because she seemed so normal it made the storyline feel more realistic which then helped with the shocking discoveries. My favourite character though has to be the deliciously gorgeous Saul, he was a very guarded distant character when we first met him but underneath it all he is actually a very caring and loving man who you can’t help but drool over!

I am very excited about this author I think she is going to be one to watch, I cannot wait for her next release. If you are looking for a compelling page turner that is full of suspense then make A Single Breath your next read.

Kindle             Paperback


  1. I totally agree with you about A Single Breath! What a great book, and yes, maybe it was even better than Swimming at Night (Sea Sisters), which I loved so much and devoured in one day!
    And thank you for the terrific interview with Lucy! I think the locations where her books take place are almost like another character....the places seem to take on a life of their own with her beautiful descriptions, make you feel like you are there or have been there! As a beach and ocean lover, I am especially drawn to her books and cannot wait for the next one!!

    1. Hopefully we wont have to wait too long for book 3! x

  2. Awesome interview! I love the beach. Very peaceful so I understand her lol

    Leydy @ OUaT & Redcarpetendings

    1. Thank you for popping by and taking the time to read and comment x