STARRED REVIEW
January 15, 2019

Something Like Breathing

By Angela Readman
Review by

Set on a remote Scottish island in the 1950s, Angela Readman’s Something Like Breathing tells the story of Lorrie and Sylvie, two girls so different from each other that they might have never exchanged a word if it weren’t for their shared fences.

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Set on a remote Scottish island in the 1950s, Angela Readman’s Something Like Breathing tells the story of Lorrie and Sylvie, two girls so different from each other that they might have never exchanged a word if it weren’t for their shared fences.

Their friendship begins shortly after Lorrie’s parents uproot their city life and move into her mother’s childhood home on the island to be closer to Lorrie’s aging grandpa, a local whisky distillery owner. Living next door are Bunny and her daughter, Sylvie, who is Lorrie’s age but is aloof, awkward and mysterious.

Soon, Lorrie becomes Sylvie’s refuge from her overbearing mother, and Sylvie becomes Lorrie’s escape from her despondent parents and the dull island life. But even in such an intimate friendship, Sylvie and Lorrie aren’t anything like the oversharing teenage girls we might imagine. In fact, they never seem to discuss their woes. Lorrie never questions why Bunny is so unbearably strict with Sylvie. Sylvie never brings up her secret gift or Lorrie’s home life or questionable dates. Like breathing, their friendship is at once muted yet so essential to their survival.

Something Like Breathing bounces between Sylvie’s diary entries and Lorrie’s recollections to reveal fascinating characters, multiple layers and a perfect finish.

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Something Like Breathing

Something Like Breathing

By Angela Readman
And Other Stories
ISBN 9781911508304

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