Review: The Breathless

Delacorte Press | October 10, 2017, 9781524714765


No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.

Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.

And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.

And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead.

My Thoughts

Is this really your debut novel, Tara Goedjen? Because it was awesome! I love Southern Gothic stories. William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Dorothy Allison, and Truman Capote are just a few authors who have mastered this genre and now Tara Goedjen can add her name to this list. There's something about old, decrepit houses, family secrets, and unsolved mysteries that make for a phenomenal story. The Breathless by Tara Goedjen is just that.

Roxanne Cole (Ro) died almost a year ago under mysterious circumstances. Everyone blames her boyfriend, Cage, for her death because he ran away directly after. Almost a year later, Cage shows up at Ro's house claiming he only left her the day before. Mae, Roe's sister, is the only one who believes he's telling the truth. Or at least believes he believes he's telling the truth. Mae also finds a old, green book that belongs to her family hidden in Ro's room. It's full of strange secrets that might have something to do with what happened to Ro. 

From start to finish I was enraptured by this novel. The setting of Blue Gate Manner surrounded by an eerie past provides the perfect background for this Southern Gothic novel. The house is a character in itself that holds the secrets to the past. Mae is a young girl trying to come to grips with the tragic death of her sister while helping the person who could be responsible for her death in the hopes that maybe they can bring Ro back to life is an interesting twist. I won't go too far into the plot because that will only spoil it for those who haven't read it.

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen had me reading way past my bedtime. It's the perfect novel to usher in fall. Grab a warm blanket and get comfy. You're going to want to read this book in one sitting.