Brought to you by Penguin.
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
'Precise, sure, engaging, and a joy to read' RODDY DOYLE
'A nimble account of student life with a darkly enjoyable undercurrent of secrecy and emotional turmoil' SARA BAUME
'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
© Eimear Ryan 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021
From the first sentence to the last, this is a great piece of writing - precise, sure, engaging, and a joy to read
Through the dark sky of our times, Eimear Ryan arrives like a comet, a bright talent scorching through every page. To read this book is to feel it blaze to life. I can't stop thinking about it
A beautiful coming-of-age story told with impressive skill and lightness of touch. It marks the arrival of an exciting new voice on the Irish literary scene, one whom I can't wait to hear more from. I absolutely loved it
Effortlessly weaving together a gripping, multi-layered plot, while maintaining a profoundly tender touch, Ryan has marked herself as a captivatingly original voice in Irish literature
A delicious read . . . A nimble account of student life with a darkly enjoyable undercurrent of secrecy and emotional turmoil
A joy to read - disarming, entertaining and life-affirming. A blisteringly good portrayal of complex lives and loves. It's an enthralling debut from a hugely talented writer
Brilliant, vivid - I enjoyed this book ENORMOUSLY
Eimear Ryan is a superbly talented writer and Holding Her Breath is a brilliantly realised, gripping, and moving first novel, full of startling perceptions and richly believable characters. This is absolutely the real thing
A confident, textured, fluent novel about first love - and the campus novel sections are a pure joy
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