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  • Published: 17 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241993743
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download
  • RRP: $26.00

Holding Her Breath

A beautiful coming of age story in the shadow of a complex love affair

When Beth Crowe starts university, she is shadowed by the ghost of her potential as a competitive swimmer. Free to create a fresh identity for herself, she finds herself among people who adore the poetry of her grandfather, Benjamin Crowe, who died tragically before she was born. She embarks on a secret relationship - and on a quest to discover the truth about Benjamin and his widow, her beloved grandmother Lydia. The quest brings her into an archive that no scholar has ever seen, and to a person who knows things about her family that nobody else knows.

Holding Her Breath is a razor-sharp, moving and seriously entertaining novel about complicated love stories, ambition and grief - and a young woman coming fully into her powers.

  • Published: 17 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241993743
  • Imprint: Penguin Audio
  • Format: Audio Download
  • RRP: $26.00

Praise for Holding Her Breath

From the first sentence to the last, this is a great piece of writing - precise, sure, engaging, and a joy to read

Roddy Doyle

Through the dark sky of our times, Eimear Ryan arrives like a comet, a bright talent scorching through every page. To read this book is to feel it blaze to life. I can't stop thinking about it

Doireann Ní Ghríofa, author of A Ghost in the Throat

A beautiful coming-of-age story told with impressive skill and lightness of touch. It marks the arrival of an exciting new voice on the Irish literary scene, one whom I can't wait to hear more from. I absolutely loved it

Louise O'Neill

A delicious read . . . A nimble account of student life with a darkly enjoyable undercurrent of secrecy and emotional turmoil

Sara Baume

Eimear Ryan is a superbly talented writer and Holding Her Breath is a brilliantly realised, gripping, and moving first novel, full of startling perceptions and richly believable characters. This is absolutely the real thing

Kevin Power

A joy to read ­- disarming, entertaining and life-affirming. A blisteringly good portrayal of complex lives and loves. It's an enthralling debut from a hugely talented writer

Danielle McLaughlin

Brilliant, vivid - I enjoyed this book ENORMOUSLY

Marian Keyes

A confident, textured, fluent novel about first love - and the campus novel sections are a pure joy

Niamh Campbell

Written with a wonderful clarity and insight, Holding Her Breath lingers in the imagination. Beth's unravelling and re-ravelling is drawn with great skill and empathy. A brilliant debut

Donal Ryan

Effortlessly weaving together a gripping, multi-layered plot, while maintaining a profoundly tender touch, Ryan has marked herself as a captivatingly original voice in Irish literature

Hot Press

A stunning debut from this new Irish talent, as well as being an exciting page turner it's also a perfect depiction of how it feels to be lost as you embark on a new chapter of your life




So finely polished it gleams, and yet it's also almost effortless reading . . . new, bright, exciting, glittering. I absolutely loved it

Claire Hennessy

Whip-smart observations and addictive prose

Sunday Telegraph

A moving debut with a satisfying conclusion

Irish Independent

Stylishly written, with strong female voices

Irish Times

Very assured . . . a refreshing, accomplished debut

Sunday Independent

It's a truly compelling read, and one I wholeheartedly recommend


I very much enjoyed reading this one and if you love intimate coming of age tales as much as I do, you have to pick this up

Miriam Stimpfl

An engaging narrative . . . written with perfect poise


Richly accomplished . . . a true pleasure to read

Dermot Bolger, Business Post

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