Author and Cornish maid Sharon Tregenza reviews Breathing Underwater by Julia Green as part of the Cornish Reading Challenge.
Fourteen-year old Freya returns to the Cornish Island where, only a year before, her beloved brother met a mysterious death. Was it an accident or something far more sinister?
Julia Green’s book tells the story of a young girl coming to terms with grief and how death affects a family. It’s a poignant novel for the YA market.
It’s also a tender story of first love. There’s an array of diverse characters as well as the tantalising “presence” of the drowned boy. Is Joe a ghost or is he real?
The chapters alternate between past and present and build a satisfying tension as Freya struggles with the pain of her emotions.
“Breathing Underwater” is a mesmerising book, well crafted and full of the feel of Cornwall and its tides. There is a dream-like quality to this work. The descriptions of seas and skies glow like Cornish light. The island setting is perfect too, the geographical seclusion mirrors Freya’s feelings of remoteness from reality.
I loved ‘Breathing Underwater”. The passages flow easily and I read it in one sitting. It’s a mystery, a “coming of age” story and much, much more.
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