Holding My Breath
Shaye Areheart, 2008 (2008)
Reviewed by Lori Waddington
n 1952, Goldie and Saul Levy become proud parents of their only child, Beth. After Goldie almost bled to death during childbirth, her doctor told her she would never be able to have more children. Goldie was extremely distraught when she found this out, as she had always dreamed of having a large family. Goldie's dreams also included a successful husband and a fancy house, so that she could claim the social status she had always longed for in her town of Winnipeg. Instead, Goldie's husband struggles to make ends meet as a pharmacist, and after the death of her mother, Goldie finds herself crammed into her mother's small house with Saul, Beth, sisters Carrie and Sarah, and the ghost of their late brother Phil.
oldie's sisters are polar opposites, with Carrie immersed in the past, and Sarah constantly dreaming of the future. Carrie spends most of her time reading Phil's journals that are filled with his illustrations of constellations and dreams of becoming an astronomer. Carrie shares these journals with Beth, who becomes just as fascinated with them as Carrie is. Sarah wants to become a famous singer, and spends most of her time looking at glamour magazines. Goldie attempts to keep Sarah with the rest of the family in Winnipeg, but eventually Sarah rebels and disappears to find fame and fortune.
olding My Breath
is narrated by Beth Levy, and the reader follows her story from birth until the time she heads off for college to study astronomy. Author Sidura Ludwig does a nice job of conveying each sister's dreams and disappointments, while at the same time giving the reader an insight into Beth's life. While I felt that this novel needed a bit more resolution, I found
Holding My Breath
to be engaging from beginning to end.
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