Shallow Breath by Sara Foster


Book Blurb :

How far would you go to save someone you love?

Two years ago, Desi Priest made a horrific mistake and destroyed her family.

Now, she is coming home to make amends: to her daughter Maya, who’s nurturing her own dangerous plan; to her brother Jackson, who blames himself; and to her close friend Pete, who has spent years shielding her from a devastating truth.

But as Desi returns to her beloved house by the ocean, there is a stranger waiting for her. Someone who needs her help. Someone whose arrival will reveal a chain of secrets hidden for over twenty years.

And one by one the family will be forced to confront the possibility that they have somehow got things terribly, tragically wrong …

Set across five continents, Shallow Breath is a compelling novel of dashed dreams and second chances. But most of all it is a story about love, and what it really means to be free


Tash M



Shallow Breath is the first book I have read by Australian author Sara Foster. It’s an intriguing and compelling story about a family trying to reconnect after an incident nearly two years ago that left Desi Priest, a mother, sister and daughter, in jail. The book opens with Desi getting out of jail and returning to the area where she hopes to reconnect with her family. Desi’s past means it will not be as straightforward as it seems.

A recent arrival to area, Kate brings backs memories of when Desi and Connor, her former partner and father of Desi’s child Maya, were together. Kate is Connor’s niece and she brings trouble with her as she waits for Desi, insinuating herself into the family’s life and getting comfortable with Jackson, Desi’s younger brother. It infuriates Maya who is desperate to learn more about her father’s family.  This is just the start of Kate’s character who has many layers that slowly peel away as the story progresses.

Adding to the complications, Maya, Desi’s daughter, has just turned 18. Legally she an adult, but she’s drifting down a dangerous path with no positive parental influence and that rough road may ultimately lead to jail. Desi and Connor’s friend, Pete, has tried to look after her but she rebuffs his help and he hasn’t a clue how to reach her.

On top of Maya’s issues, Pete has Desi to deal with as he is shielding her from a “truth” that is potentially devastating, a lie he started many years ago. Then there’s Desi’s father who won’t speak to her because he’s hurt over what happened that fateful day. And finally, there is Rebecca and her family. The girls (Desi and Rebecca) grew up together and Rick worked for her dad but then the families started taking sides and then the incident happened. Desi is coming home to a complicated situation. Time will allow the secrets to be revealed so that they can move on, but can they with Desi having only one ally?

After Connor left her, Desi had grown to depend on Pete over the years as he was the one connection between Connor and her family. But even Pete doesn’t know what the truth is except Desi and Jackson who is torn with protecting her and the rest of the family. With all that going on, you’re thinking this is going to be a compelling story about finding forgiveness and forging a new future. Well, yes, this book is about that but there is so much more to it!

I think 2013 is going to be the year I discover Australian authors; I have read a smattering of works by Australian authors over the years but this year I have already read eight books, all from Australian authors. Each of them feature compelling writing and strong female characters, and this book is no exception. Desi’s regret at keeping secrets affected her relationship with family and friends. When these 20 year old secrets come to light, they do more than “clear the air”; they send Desi’s family on a journey travelling through the past and into the future, as they try to make sense of the past and take a glimpse into the future.

Foster has written a book that looks at difficult family issues, as well as dealing with animal conservation, an unexpected sub-theme to this book, but it fitted into the narration seamlessly.

Four couples.




Publisher : Random House Australia

Source : Publicist Provided for review

Released : December 3rd 2012


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