Cover image for Something like breathing
Title:
Something like breathing
ISBN:
9781911508304
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Sheffield : & Other Stories, 2019.
Physical Description:
246 pages ; 20 cm
Summary:
"It's the fifties, and Lorrie is unimpressed when her family moves to the remote Scottish island where her grandad runs a whisky distillery. She befriends Sylvie, the shy girl next door: 'The slightest smile from Sylvie was a fluffy elephant at the fayre. It had to be won with a clear aim,' writes Lorrie in her diary. Yet fun-loving Lorrie isn't sure Sylvie's is the friendship she wants to win. But as the adults around them struggle to keep their lives on an even keel, the two young women are drawn into a series of events that leave the small town wondering who exactly Sylvie is and what strange gift she is hiding" -- from Amazon.com
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Summary

Summary

'Readman weaves a fascinating and decidedly original fairytale.' - Lucy Scholes, Financial Times

It's the 1950s, and Lorrie is unimpressed when her family moves to the remote Scottish island where her grandad runs a whisky distillery. She befriends Sylvie, the shy girl next door: 'The slightest smile from Sylvie was a fluffy elephant at the fair. It had to be won with a clear aim,' writes Lorrie. Yet fun-loving Lorrie isn't sure Sylvie's is the friendship she wants to win. As the adults around them struggle to keep their lives on an even keel, the two young women are drawn intoa series of events that leave the small town wondering who exactly Sylvie is and what strange gift she is hiding.

Readman's feel for emotional nuance and flair for mixing strangeness with poignant detail make this long-awaited debut novel one to savour.


Author Notes

Angela Readman is a twice-shortlisted winner of the Costa Short Story Award.Her debut story collection Don't Try This at Home was published by And Other Stories in 2015. It won The Rubery Book Prize and was shortlisted in the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She also writes poetry, and her collection The Book of Tides was published by Nine Arches in 2016. Something Like Breathing is her first novel.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Lorrie is miserable when her family suddenly moves to the remote Scottish island where her grandfather runs a distillery. She befriends Sylvie, the strange, shy girl next door, but that only makes it marginally better. There is something deeply unknowable about Sylvie, thanks in no small part to her Tupperware-obsessed, fiercely protective mother, Bunny. As their teens progress, Sylvie seems to be stuck in preadolescence, and Lorrie leaves her behind for more adventurous friends and dates with local boys. As Readman switches between the girls' stories, it slowly becomes clear what makes Sylvie an outcast: her kiss has mysterious healing powers, and Bunny's vigilance cannot stop small-town gossip. Meanwhile, Lorrie is noticing her parents' unsatisfying marriage and uncovering some not-quite-fleshed-out family secrets. Readman's debut novel paints a vivid picture of coming-of-age on that gloomy island in the 1950s, using distinct narrative voices to drive the well-paced revelations. The complicated, almost sisterly friendship between Lorrie and Sylvie will remind readers of Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend (2012), and the hint of magic will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman's darker work.--Susan Maguire Copyright 2019 Booklist