‘Shallow Breath’ is the second Sara Foster novel that I’ve read, the first being ‘All That is Lost Between us’. This one is set in Foster’s home of Western Australia and she has created a remarkable picture of the area.
Desi has spent the last 15 months in prison for an unspeakable crime (we don’t find out what till near the end of the novel). Now she is returning home to her small beachside house and hoping to reconcile with her teenage daughter Maya, brother Jackson and friend Rebecca.
But she doesn’t know about Kate, a visitor to the area who has been looking for her. Kate has a connection to a distant past that Desi can barely hold onto. She wants something from Desi that Desi doesn’t think she can give her.
The story explores Desi’s past – her relationship with Connor, the handsome marine biologist who is Maya’s father, her love of the sea and her respect and care for dolphins, and her friendship with Pete.
But while Desi works out what to do about Kate, Maya sets up her own plans for her future, a future that Desi and Jackson want to save her from.
The overwhelming feeling I had from this story was of lives on hold while waiting for something to happen. Desi was waiting to get over Connor and restart her life. Pete was waiting for the right time to tell Desi how he felt. Maya was waiting to grow up and do something important. This was great at building tension but also incredibly frustrating. Most of the characters seemed to be doing nothing with their lives.
The novel was an excellent story about the fate of wildlife – the things that people do to abuse them and the people who try to counteract that abuse.
There were a lot of things I liked about this novel, but it was difficult to get into. I preferred ‘All That is Lost Between us’.
Book Published 2012