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A Single Breath

A Single Breath

A Novel

  • reading group guide
A young widow discovers her husband was not who he claimed to be—and finds herself falling in love with the wrong man.

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.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476750156 | 
  • April 2014
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Read an Excerpt

A Single Breath 1

As she leaves the shelter of the headland, the full force of the wind hits Eva. Her hair whips back from her face and she hugs the flask of coffee tight to her chest. Clouds of sand gust along the shoreline, sending a tangled knot of fishing line pinwheeling along the beach.

A woman passes in the other direction, her purple coat flattened to her back by the wind. The fur-trimmed hood is pulled tight to her face, making Eva wish... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for A Single Breath includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Lucy Clarke. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


When Eva’s husband, Jackson, dies in a fishing accident after less than ten months of marriage, she travels to his native Tasmania, hoping to find comfort and closure by visiting his estranged family. What she discovers, however, is that her husband was not the man she thought he was. As she struggles to come to terms with Jackson’s deception, she finds herself more and more drawn to his brother, Saul, who offers her intimacy, passion, and a window into her husband’s past. When a shocking secret about Jackson comes to light, Eva must find a way to rediscover her own truths and forge a new future.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Eva suffers greatly in the first half of the novel. She’s devastated by Jackson’s death and then by the miscarriage of their baby, but she also deals with aching loneliness and feeling like she’s lost her identity. Why do you think she repeatedly pushes away her family and Callie to be in Tasmania alone? Do you think it was the righ see more

About the Author

Lucy Clarke
Photograph by James Bowden

Lucy Clarke

Lucy Clarke is the author of Swimming at Night and A Single Breath. She and her husband, a professional windsurfer, spend their winters traveling and their summers at their home on the south coast of England. Visit




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