Eimear Ryan

Holding Her Breath
  • Holding Her Breath



    'A stunning debut from this new Irish talent' STELLAR

    A young woman comes of age in the shadow of her family's tragic past

    When Beth Crowe starts university, she is shadowed by the ghost of her potential as a competitive swimmer. Free to create a fresh identity for herself, she finds herself among people who adore the poetry of her grandfather, Benjamin Crowe, who died tragically before she was born. She embarks on a secret relationship - and on a quest to discover the truth about Benjamin and his widow, her beloved grandmother Lydia. The quest brings her into an archive that no scholar has ever seen, and to a person who knows things about her family that nobody else knows.

    Holding Her Breath is a razor-sharp, moving and seriously entertaining novel about complicated love stories, ambition and grief - and a young woman coming fully into her powers.

    'A beautiful coming-of-age story told with impressive skill and lightness of touch . . . I absolutely loved it' LOUISE O'NEILL

    'Whip smart observations and addictive prose' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

    'Precise, sure, engaging, and a joy to read' RODDY DOYLE

    'A moving debut with a satisfying conclusion' IRISH INDEPENDENT

    'Brilliant, vivid - I enjoyed this book ENORMOUSLY' MARIAN KEYES

    'Enthralling' IMAGE

    'A nimble account of student life with a darkly enjoyable undercurrent of secrecy and emotional turmoil' SARA BAUME

    'A truly compelling read, and one I wholeheartedly recommend' BUZZ

    'Through the dark sky of our times, Eimear Ryan arrives like a comet, a bright talent scorching through every page' DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA, author of A Ghost in the Throat

    'Brilliantly realised, gripping, and moving . . . This is absolutely the real thing' KEVIN POWER

    'Written with a wonderful clarity and insight, Holding Her Breath lingers in the imagination. Beth's unravelling and re-ravelling is drawn with great skill and empathy. A brilliant debut' DONAL RYAN

Eimear Ryan's writing has appeared in Granta, Winter Papers, The Dublin Review and The Stinging Fly. She is the 2021 Writer in Residence at University College Cork. She is a co-founder of the literary journal Banshee and its publishing imprint, Banshee Press. She was shortlisted for the Newcomer of the Year Award at the Irish Book Awards for her first novel, Holding Her Breath. A native of Co. Tipperary, Eimear now lives in Cork city.

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