Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon
Amy Stevenson was just 15 years old when she was left for dead in a park. Severely beaten, possibly raped, she survived, but barely. She lives in a neurological ward and cannot communicate, and in fact, according to her internal dialog, she has no clue of what has happened, and is not oriented to place or time. Years pass.
Alcoholic ex-reporter, Alex Dale, has burned all of her bridges, spends her days completely drunk and has such bad liver damage that she will be dead within a year if she doesn't change her ways. In a desperate attempt to rehabilitate herself, she is trying to write an article about the new breakthrough treatment at the neuro hospital. While interviewing the doctor there, she hears a little about Amy. Intrigued, and with her instincts kicking into gear after all this time, Alex decides that she is going to find out what really happened to Amy.
Alternating in point of view with shifts back and forth in time, this is a great story about an obsession that redeems a lost soul. Resolution and redemption. I really enjoyed it. The characters are quite quirky and flawed with messy lives and relationships. Even though it might be obvious to the reader who the villain is, the progression of the tale is such that you don't mind being led so slowly to it through Alex's dogged, determined efforts. I liked the writing style and the descriptions, even the dream-like state that Amy's voice delivers, all felt authentic though I don't know about the science of the MRI in communicating with locked-in patients.
Genre: Literature/Fiction - Adult
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the e-book ARC to review.