by Joyce Carol Oates
5 Aug 2021
'America's preeminent fiction writer' New Yorker Michaela and her husband have moved to the starkly beautiful but uncanny landscape of New Mexico, to take residency at a distinguished academic institute. But then Gerard is stricken with a mysterious illness, initially misdiagnosed, and soon their life begins to resemble a nightmare. At thirty-seven, Michaela faces the terrifying prospect of widowhood - and the loss of Gerard, whose identity has greatly shaped her own.
In vividly depicted scenes of escalating suspense, Michaela cares desperately for Gerard in his final days, and then careens through the chaos of the days after he is gone. Her love for her husband, however fierce and selfless, has not been enough to save him and his death is beyond her comprehension. A love that refuses to be surrendered at death - is this the blessing of a unique married love, or a curse that must be exorcized? Breathe is an exploration of haunting, a horror story about the raw madness of grief, and an intense, heart-wrenching love story that grapples with the philosophical questions most fundamental to our existence.