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thumbs up from Booklist

Just Breathe.

Wiggs, Susan (author).


Sept. 2008. 480p. MIRA, hardcover, $24.95 (9780778325772).

REVIEW. First published August, 2008 (Booklist).


Sarah Moon’s life abruptly changes when she surprises her husband with a pizza and is surprised, in turn, to find him with another woman. Sarah has subsumed her true self to become the wife her husband wanted. She moved to Chicago, dressed stylishly, and bent her needs to his. She nursed him through a bout with cancer and underwent fertility treatments. She even put up with his denigration of her career as a cartoonist, the only thing uniquely hers. But at that shocking juncture, she channels her spunky cartoon alter-ego, Shirl, and splits. She arrives back in her northern California hometown, feeling adrift and humiliated, only to discover that she is finally pregnant. With twins. Sarah’s efforts to become part of the community once again shouldn’t include falling for former classmate turned fireman Will Bonner, but she can’t resist him, his generosity of spirit, or his stepdaughter, who reminds Sarah so much of herself at that age. Wiggs’ exceptionally touching and evocative novel will capture readers’ hearts as they fall for her beautifully rendered characters. — Maria Hatton




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