The year is 1947. The world has survived the Second Great War, and in the north end of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Saul and Goldie Levy are married at Royal Alex Hall. Goldie's parents and her two sisters, Carrie and Sarah, are in attendance. Noticeably absent is her brother Phil, who died during the war in a plane that crashed somewhere in North Africa. Five years later, they will have a child, a daughter they will name Beth. This is her story.
Holding My Breath: A Novel is a poignant coming-of-age tale told from the point of view of Beth Levy, the youngest in a household of two generations of strong Jewish women. There's her mother, Goldie, who upholds the middle-class values and traditions at home and in the community; her aunt Carrie, who never married and carries a secret, tragic past; and her youngest aunt, Sarah, the most beautiful, wild and rebellious of the three sisters. As Beth grows up, she finds herself navigating between the old world and the new, and the mounting pressure to conform only feeds her longing to escape.
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"There is much to admire in Sidura Ludwig's debut novel, Holding My Breath, a coming-of-age story set in the mid-20th century: its powerful evocation of setting, compelling cast of complex female characters and affirming celebration of Jewish family life." - The National Post (Canada).
"Holding My Breath is a deft, albeit safe, debut. Ludwig has the gifts to launch beyond the predictable. When she dares to exhale, she may find her writing takes a leap." - The Globe and Mail (Canada).
"Issues such as anti-Semitism and adolescent cruelty surface briefly and are quickly dropped. The result is a charming, if less than courageous, performance." - Publishers Weekly.
"A loving yet unsentimental look at Jewish assimilation in Canada. Ludwig deftly describes the push-pull that burdens the children of immigrant parents, a dance between tradition and progress." - Kirkus Reviews.
"In her debut novel of a multi-generational Jewish Winnipeg family, award-winning Canadian short story writer Ludwig beautifully illustrates the secrets and sins that erode facades, damage trust, and threaten potential. Highly recommended." - Library Journal.
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Sidura Ludwig was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, and lived in Birmingham from 2001 to 2004. Her short fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies in Canada and England, as has her non-fiction, and she is the recipient of the Canadian Author and Bookman Prize for Most Promising Writer. Tindal Street published two of her linked short stories in Are You She? edited by Lesley Glaister. Sidura now lives in Toronto with her husband and two young children.
Follow Sidura at http://www.sidura.com/
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