Title: Breathing Underwater
Author: Julia Green
Published: May 2009
ISBN:978 07475 95465
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The cover on this conveys a sense of calm serenity, with Freya, the main character walking toward the sea.
Freya has come back to the remote island where her grandparents live. It's a place her parents refuse to re-visit after her brother Joe dies in a boating accident the previous summer, so I found it somewhat surprising that someone like Freya would venture back into the island. Freya isn't convinced that Joe's accident was just that, an accident...so in a way she's there to make peace with her brothers death and either to find out a startling truth or accept the accident.
Overall, I found this a really easy going book. Freya has moments when she thinks she feels/sees and senses her brother, which adds to her intense desire to know exactly what happened. The relationships around her are often strained because no one knows what to say to a bereaved sibling, or how to act around them. As Freya reflects on what happened last summer it becomes clearer, and in reflecting she ultimately gets to move on. In many places this is moving...Freya makes new friends and has to be around those who were best friends with Joe, and we also get to see the impact that Joe's life and death has had on his family.
Breathing Underwater really moved me in places. It delves into a lot of areas considering it's just 200 pages long, so a compact read. For me, there wasn't as much mystery as I would have liked, but the way the story is told and the backdrop to Joe's death is really well done.
Freya has come back to the remote island where her grandparents live, and where last summer her brother Joe died in a boating accident. But what really happened that night? Freya is not convinced that it was an accident and feels as if Joe's Presence is still haunting her.
Perhaps, this summer, Freya will find a way to work out what happened, and pull herself and her family out of the sorrow that is threatening to overwhelm them. And perhaps Freya will discover that life - and love- is still vibrantly in the air....
Source - My thanks to Bloomsbury. A copy was received in exchange for an honest review.