Wednesday 1 November 2023

Book Review: Out of Breath by Anna Snoekstra

 Out of Breath


Anna Snoekstra

Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Publication date: 6th July 2022
Genre: Suspense / Thriller
Pages: 320
RRP: $32.99AU (trade paperback)
Source: courtesy of the publisher

Review: Out of Breath

Out of Breath fell a little flat for me. There were a lot of scenes were a sense of foreboding built and then everything was fine. I felt maybe the author was trying to tease the reader with suspense building throughout the novel but it didn't really work for me.
The pace was slow however I did find the plot intriguing. Jo is on a working holiday in Australia and to maintain her Visa she must work as a fruit picker in the outback for a specified number of weeks. When the charismatic Gabe suggests she find the commune he is living on she leaves the farm but Jo soon finds she is in way over her head and she doesn't know who she can trust.
Reader empathy for the main character, Jo, is built up early in the novel and I found myself interested in her journey and wanting her to find peace within herself.
There are many wonderfully described moments throughout; with time on a mango farm, a trip through the Australian outback and deep diving for oysters. I think it was these moments, and the excellent sense of place that Snoekstra evokes, that saved the novel for me.
Out of Breath is an evocative read if you want to experience the remoteness of outback Australia, but I wouldn't really call it a thriller. 

3.5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐½

About the author

Anna Snoekstra is the author of Only Daughter, Little Secrets and The Spite Game. Her novels have been published in over twenty countries and sixteen languages. She has written for The Guardian, Meanjin, The Griffith Review, Lindsay, LiHub and The Saturday Paper.

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