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Just Breathe [Kindle Edition]

Susan Wiggs
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sarah Moon tackles life's issues with a sharp wit in her syndicated comic strip, Just Breathe. With both Sarah and her cartoon heroine undergoing fertility treatments, her fiction often reflects her reality. However, she hadn't scripted her husband's infidelity.

In the wake of her shattered marriage, Sarah flees to the coastal town in California where she grew up. There, she revisits her troubling past: an emotionally distant father, the loss of her mother and an unexpected connection with Will Bonner, the high school heartthrob skewered mercilessly in her comics. But he's been through some changes himself. And just as her heart is about to reawaken, Sarah makes a most startling discovery. She's pregnant. With her ex's twins.

The winds of change have led Sarah to this surprising new beginning. All she can do is just close her eyes…and breathe.


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestselling author Wiggs (Snowfall at Willow Lake) keeps her romance reputation going with this feel-good story of a wronged woman who gets out on her own and gets going. Sarah Moon, a comic-strip writer, is happily married to Jack Daly—until she comes home to find him entwined and naked with a business associate he had badmouthed to her just hours earlier. After five years of marriage, including months of infertility treatments because of Jack's cancer, infidelity is the last straw, and Sarah pack ups and leaves Chicago for her hometown of Glenmuir, Calif. Sarah uses her comic strip, Just Breathe, to vent her frustration and relieve her stress. The character, Shirl, is undergoing fertility treatments, getting a divorce and moving back in with her mom. (Comic strips open each section of the novel). And in Glenmuir, lo and behold, Sarah's dreams come true. She finds out she's pregnant, and begins a friendship with her high school nemesis, Will Bonner, who's now the town fire captain and a single dad whose lonely daughter reminds Sarah of herself as a young girl. Wiggs takes serious situations and weaves them into an emotionally wrought story that will have readers reaching for the Kleenex one moment and snickering out loud the next. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Cartoonist Sarah Moon is shocked and devastated when she stops by her husband's work site after her latest fertility treatment and finds him with another woman. When Jack refuses to acknowledge that he has done anything wrong and says he wants a divorce, Sarah trades his prized custom restored Pontiac GTO for a MINI Cooper and heads for Glenmuir, the small northern California town where she grew up. Somewhat to Sarah's surprise, the area and people she couldn't wait to leave have changed—or perhaps she has. Family and friends, including her high school crush Will Bonner, rally round, and Sarah starts to relax. That is until she realizes she's pregnant. This is a lovely, moving novel with an engaging heroine. Best-selling author Wiggs's (Table for Five) talent is reflected in her thoroughly believable characters as well as the way she recognizes the importance of family by blood or other ties. Readers who like Nora Roberts and Susan Elizabeth Phillips will enjoy Wiggs's latest. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [The finished book will include cartoons not reproduced in the advanced reading copy.—Ed.]—Elizabeth Mellett, P.L. of Brookline, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 757 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Reprint edition (June 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 077832656X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778326564
  • ASIN: B0084ZX5CS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,404 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Breathe November 5, 2008
By MNix
Format:Hardcover
Sarah Moon is a cartoonist. She uses her own real life experiences in her comic strip "Just Breathe." Sarah's husband, Jack, works for his family owned construction company. Sarah and Jack have been married for five years, during which time Sarah has stood by and cared for Jack when he had cancer. She went through twelve months of fertility treatments in a desperate attempt to conceive a child to no avail. Then she found Jack with another woman. Sarah left Chicago and gone home to her family in California to lick her wounds and make a fresh start. As she plans her divorce from Jack she gets two unexpected surprises. She's pregnant with Twins.

Will Boon is the boy Sarah had a crush on in high school. He ignored her then. Will is now the town's Fire Captain and father to his thirteen-year-old stepdaughter Aurora. Will and Sarah begin an unlikely friendship that soon becomes more, but neither of them is in a position to start a relationship. That doesn't stop them from falling for each other though.

Just Breathe is a wonderful story bathed in vivid realism. Sarah's response to Jack's cheating, the birth of her babies, and her feelings for Will, are realistic and packed with emotion. I felt a real connection to Sarah. Either because I had a similar experience to one of hers or I felt I would have reacted the same way she did had I been in her shoes. Jack however handled things very badly. I lost respect for him quickly as he became bitter and selfish. His infidelity infuriated me. Will on the other hand is a knight in shining armor. He is compassionate, gorgeous, and honorable. He's the perfect man! Aurora is lovely. She's a typical teenager struggling to cope with some not so typical issues. Just Breathe is a realistic look at one woman's life as she faces loss and heartache, then love and joy. Just Breathe is my first Susan Wiggs novel but definitely not my last. She is a wonderful storyteller.

Nannette
reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the paperback December 17, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Sarah Moon has supported her husband Jack through sickness and health; and after his recovery from cancer, they decided to start trying to have child, but after several costly treatments, they are still childless, and worse, she has just discovered that one reason his sex drive is nonexistent is because he has been sleeping with a client. For cartoonist Sarah, who lives vicariously through her character, Shirl, that is the last straw, and she high tails it to her hometown in northern California. Jack realizes his error when he discusses divorce with his lawyer and his attempts to reconcile fall on deaf ears. As Sarah starts to make new friends and reconcile with old frenemies that she lampooned in her underground high school comic, she discovers that she is pregnant. Torn over what to do, and on the verge of finding love again, she has some hefty decisions to mull over, and it isn't easy when she has the attentions of her high school heartthrob.

I wanted to like Wiggs' story, and for the most part I did, but there is just too much going on to the point that it reads like more of a soap opera than a novel. The arson investigation seemed originally like an integral part of the plot, then it was dropped, only to be resolved (in the past no less) at the end. I liked Sarah's transformation once she returned to her roots, the kindred spirit she felt with Will's daughter who was also on the verge of being an outcast like she was. But I had a hard time understanding how she ever fell for Jack since the only Jack the readers are introduced to is a bitter and not so nice one. I also had to side with her editors in that I did not think that her comic strip was all that funny (at least not the excerpts that were ultimately chosen).

© Tracy Vest, December 2008
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lacked Passion June 11, 2009
Format:Hardcover
In theory the plot line sounds entertaining. It wasn't until I had gotten a few chapters in that I noticed the lack of passion and emotion I had been expecting since page one. While I understand Wigg's mission was for the reader to see the inherent strength Sarah possesses, she fails to show us the range of emotion that Sarah inevitably goes through. I really wanted to get 'into' Sarah but found myself understanding Aurora more. She developed Aurora's character in far more detail than she did Sarah's and she showed the reader Aurora's emotions and inner workings. Being a single mom in a nearly similar situation I was hoping to find a common bond with Sarah and the empowerment she got from liberating herself from a bad life experience and proving to the world that being a single mom does in fact rock. I was let down though when Wiggs casually brushed over the pregnancy and birth... and was rather upset that it took me another 4 pages to find out the sex of the twins. They are a BIG part of her 'life change betterment' and once they arrive they're mentioned only matter of fact-ly. This book wasn't what I expected it to be and while it was entertaining and at some points funny it missed the level of 'astounding' that it could have been given Wiggs had delved deeper into the pitfalls and the emotions alongside them. In a sense I feel Wiggs only half way wrote this book, granted I haven't read any other of her novels, but it read like a 5th grade fictional story assignment: just enough to get by.

The comic strip was lacking as well. Wiggs goes into depth as to how much art and drawing means to Sarah and the comic strip depicted in the book lacks any and all artistic expertise.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
LOVED BOOK
Published 8 days ago by Ladonna M. Combs
5.0 out of 5 stars Susan Wiggs - book rating
I had just finished reading 'Wiggs' earlier book (sorry, can't remember the name because I just gave both of them to my daughter to read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by estelle anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Breathe
It was very well written.....The story line was a good subject and showing that anything is possible. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Breathe
Susan Wiggs is becoming a go-to author for me. This is a great story. I really enjoyed it. A good one to start with.
Published 4 months ago by LLB
3.0 out of 5 stars I love Susan Wiggs, but...Just Breathe was a fail.
I really do love almost all of this author's books. Unfortunately, this was not one of them. The painfully slow unfolding of the plot was peppered with redundant explanations, and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nen
5.0 out of 5 stars This book rocks!
I honestly could not put it down. I was so enhanced with the story that I kept reading way past my bedtime. Loved the characters and could relate and loved the story. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and touching
Such a wonderful story. So mesmerizing I could hardly put it down. I just loved it, thank you so much. I can't wait to read more of Susan's stories.
Published 9 months ago by Ladydot
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't get past this one point ...
Ok, this is what bothers me. If she conceived this baby via IVF she would need progesterone shots or suppositories through 12 weeks when the placenta kicks in because it was not a... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Linda P.
4.0 out of 5 stars great, realistic love story
I love that the writer wasn't afraid to talk about real live. About heartbreak, and how things get messy when it comes to love and blended families. This was a great read!
Published 10 months ago by Bdubs
5.0 out of 5 stars a great story
I loved the entire story, I stayed up almost all night to finish. I hope others enjoy this heart warming book as well. I look forward to reading more books by Susan Wigge
Published 11 months ago by Delores Burnett
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More About the Author

Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She's been featured in the national media, including NPR's Talk of the Nation, and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. At the age of eight, she self-published her first novel, entitled "A Book About Some Bad Kids."

Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries. Her recent novel, Marrying Daisy Bellamy, took the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and The Lakeshore Chronicles have won readers' hearts around the globe. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature.

She lives with her husband and family at the water's edge on an island in the Pacific Northwest, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.

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