Book Review: Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty + Giveaway

Title:  Breaking and Holding
Author: Judy Fogarty
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date:  August 2, 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction

For Patricia Curren, the summer of 1978 begins with a devastating discovery: an unfamiliar black pearl button in the bed she shares with her controlling husband, Jack. Seeking the courage to end her desolate marriage, Patricia spends a quiet summer alone on beautiful Kiawah Island. But when she meets Terry Sloan, a collegiate tennis player trying to go pro, their physical attraction sparks a slow burn toward obsession.

Once Patricia and Terry share closely guarded secrets from their pasts, they want more than a summer together. But their love soon fractures, as a potential sponsor takes an unusually keen interest in Terry—both on court and off. And when single, career-driven Lynn Hewitt arrives, other secrets must surface, including the one Patricia has kept from Terry all summer.

An intimate portrait of the folly of the human heart, Breaking and Holding explores buried truths that are startlingly unveiled. What’s left in their wake has the power not only to shatter lives…but to redeem them.

"This isn't my story. It's Patricia and Terry's. But in the summer of 1978, their lives were wound around mind like strands of twine around a spool.  Twine. Rose. Barbed wire by August." (1)
That is the beginning, the very lines of Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty, and I can tell you , it was a great beginning. It's one of those beginnings that lassoed you, and slowly pull you in. That imagery caught like fire, and I'm reading this book from beginning to end.

It's a story of broken relationships, misinterpretations and secrets that hurts, not only yourself but others as well. There's so much that goes on, from adultery to alcoholism to abuse to lies and secrets. There's also love and friendship that is so fragile, yet it's one that you'll never forget.  There's a certain heavy dose of poignancy in this novel that makes one feel either troubled or think on the bright side - to cherish. The in-betweens can be lost and uncertainty.

As a debut novel, I think Breaking and Holding's strongest quality is the character development of Patricia, Terry and even Lynn. Their growth, their depth carries this story. The writing is at times poetic. And then at times, the flow is disjointed, and may lose you for bit, but it always jumps back in. Not too disruptive, but noticeable. I thought a few times, the language a tad bit excessive, but in some places, it did make sense. In all, a story that brings to light the fragility of relationships, and a somber reality of what secrets that breaks them.

For my clean readers, please note, there are intimacy and profanity in this novel. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Judy Fogarty lives, writes, reads, and runs on the historic Isle of Hope in her native Savannah, Georgia. She holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois and has served as marketing director for private golf and tennis communities in the Savannah/Hilton Head area, including The Landings on Skidaway Island, Berkeley Hall, and Callawassie Island. She is a devoted—even rowdy—tennis fan, as anyone who has had the pleasure—or displeasure—of watching a professional match with her will attest. Breaking and Holding is Judy's debut novel. She is happily at work on her second, enjoying as always the invaluable support of her husband, Mike, and children, Colin and Sara Jane.

TO CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:  Website | Facebook Twitter

Check out the full tour schedule for more information! Click on the image below to take you there.



  1. Oh this book sounds wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds like an awesome book to read - one that would definitely hold your interest. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  3. Like the setting of the book, Kiawah Island is a perfect setting for a chick-lit story. Sounds like a great read.

  4. This book sounds really good!


  5. Sounds intriguing! I always enjoy reading author's debut novels and getting a feel for their writing style. I am definitely interested to see where this book goes from the excerpt above.

    1. O, me too Laura! Debut authors can be a breath of fresh air!

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed this debut novel overall. Thanks for being a part of the tour!


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