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 NI GHRIOFA, author of A Ghost in the Throat
‘Brilliantly realised, gripping, and moving . . . This is absolutely the real thing’ KEVIN POWER