Underwater Breathing

Underwater BreathingUnderwater Breathing by Cassandra Parkin
Published by Legend Press on May 17th 2018
ISBN: 1787198405
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acob and Ella’s parents have purchased a home on the crumbling cliffs of Yorkshire. There is one other home on the cliff, owned by Mrs. Armitage, that sits closer to the edge. Eventually the cliffs will crumble and both homes will fall into the sea. Sounds like a great place to live, right? Add in the “passionate” fights of their parents – and you have two unsettled kids as nothing in their life seems stable. Sixteen-year-old Jacob and six-year-old Ella hide in the bathroom during their parent’s fights and practice “breathing underwater.” Ella is afraid that their house will one day fall into the sea, so they practice their underwater breathing so that they can survive if the house does crumble into the sea below.

This is an interesting family. Why does Jacob go to school while Ella is home-schooled? Why does Ella’s mother sleep for long periods of time? Why does Mrs. Armitage not seem concerned that her home will one day fall into the sea as well? She appears to accept this as she goes about her business each day. She often goes out on her little boat and has an affinity for the sea. Has she been practicing her underwater breathing as well? Why is she not afraid?

Why did Ella and her Mother disappear one night? What secrets did their parents have? How will Ella’s re-appearance back into Jacob’s life change things? Because she does re-appear about 10 years later -making Jacob around 26 years old and Ella around 16 years old. Think about that when you get towards the end of the book.

There are a lot of secrets in this book and a lot of questions. This book is well-written and is an interesting premise. What happens when you learn the “truth”. When you think you know the story of your life, but it turns out you only knew a footnote? It is interesting when one sibling remembers things one way and the other sibling does not. I enjoyed this book but there were parts where I felt underwhelmed and other parts that had some ick factor. There were also parts that shined making this book a hard book to rate. This is one instance where I may change my rating after thinking about the book more. This book did have atmosphere, with the cliffs and the sea below, but I think it would have worked better with a more Gothic feel to it. Perhaps it would have set the mood more for me.

Thank you to Legend Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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