Holding My Breath

Holding My Breath

A Novel

Book - 2008/08/05
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Random House, Inc.
In her beautifully wrought debut, Holding My Breath, author Sidura Ludwig crafts a bold yet tender coming-of-age tale of family, dreams, and the will to follow one’s heart.

The only child of a Canadian pharmacist and his wife, Beth Levy grows up with the understanding that expectations can develop early in people’s lives, “even before they are born.” With that, the little girl senses a responsibility to become the narrator of her family’s history, piecing together snippets of conversation, half-told stories, and intimations that waft throughout her Manitoba homestead—her aunt Carrie’s resolve to never marry, her grandmother’s static grief over her deceased husband, the wanderlust of her young and vivacious aunt Sarah, and the death of her uncle Phil during World War II.

But what she believes and what is true are as disparate as the three strong Jewish women that occupy Beth’s house, life, and heart. Her mother, Goldie, the oldest sister, harbors a desire for social status that only results in a tacit disappointment, that nothing, not even her daughter, can assuage. Carrie, the middle one, possesses a gentle nature that masks a tragic countenance. The youngest, Sarah, still a teenager, stands poised to take on the world.

While Beth seeks out the nurturing comfort of Carrie, who keeps Uncle Phil’s memory alive and bestows upon Beth his love of the stars and planets, it is the rebellious spirit of Sarah that most entices the girl. As Beth matures into a young woman, the combination of her aunts’ influences pits the old world of her mother’s strictures against a new one of exploration and escape. This internal conflict will force Beth to make a difficult choice.

With a voice as distinct as it is compelling, Holding My Breath celebrates the bonds of family and its reassuring traditions as it affirms the uniqueness of the individual on uncharted paths.

Baker & Taylor
Growing up the youngest in a household of two generations of Jewish women in post-World War II Winnipeg, Beth Levy finds herself navigating a fine line between two worlds as she deals with her traditional mother and unconventional aunts.

Blackwell North Amer
The only child of a Canadian pharmacist and his wife, Beth Levy grows up with the understanding that expectations can develop early in people's lives, "even before they are born." With that, the little girl senses a responsibility to become the narrator of her family's history, piecing together snippets of conversation. half-told stories, and intimations that waft throughout her Manitoba homestead - her aunt Carrie's resolve to never marry, her grandmother's static grief over her deceased husband, the wanderlust of her young and vivacious aunt Sarah, and the death of her uncle Phil during World War II.
But what she believes and what is true are as disparate as the three strong Jewish women that occupy Beth's house, life, and heart. Her mother, Goldie, the oldest sister, harbors a desire for social status that only results in a tacit disappointment, that nothing, not even her daughter, can assuage. Carrie, the middle one, possesses a gentle nature that masks a tragic countenance. The youngest, Sarah, still a teenager, stands poised to take on the world.
While Beth seeks out the nurturing comfort of Carrie, who keeps Uncle Phil's memory alive and bestows upon Beth his love of the stars and planets, it is the rebellious spirit of Sarah that most entices the girl. As Beth matures into a young woman, the combination of her aunts' influences pits the old world of her mother's strictures against a new one of exploration and escape. This internal conflict wiIl force Beth to make a difficult choice.

Baker
& Taylor

Growing up the youngest in a household of two generations of strong Jewish women in post-World War II Winnipeg, Beth Levy finds herself navigating a fine line between the old world and the new as she deals with her traditional mother Goldie; her spinster aunt Carrie, a woman with a secret past; and her rebellious aunt Sarah. A first novel. 25,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Shaye Areheart Books, 2008/08/05
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780307396228
0307396223
Branch Call Number: FICTION LUDWIG
Characteristics: 270 p. ; 22 cm

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GLNovak
Jun 12, 2015

Beth Levy is an only child growing up with her aunts Carrie and Sarah almost as sisters. The story revolves around the three of them and Beth's mother Goldie and the young dreams they had and the lives they made for themselves. This is basically a coming of age tale nicely handled. Secrets hidden when Beth is a child are slowly revealed in a timely fashion. The narrative is smooth, and flows along quickly. A good summer read.

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