Breaking and Holding

Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty

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.


Controlling Jack puts his secretary (and mistress), Lynn, in charge of keeping his wife, Patricia, happy, while constantly disappointing them both. Lynn learns throughout the book that she does so much to keep everyone else happy, and sooner or later, she has to make the necessary changes in order to put herself first. Patricia grows more and more independence as the story progresses. She takes a lone vacation, much to the dismay of her husband, whose true love is truly his agency. She finds tennis player Terry, who shows her attention and has a young, fun side to him that is very attractive and opposite of what she’s used to. Patricia outgrows the shell of the person she once was and becomes Tricia, a vibrant, strong woman. A friendship blooms between Terry and Tricia and they confide in each other with many secrets and dreams… but Tricia has held one back- the fact that she’s married. How will Terry react when he learns of this and how it relates to how he grew up as a child? And what happens when Tricia finds out the one her husband was having the affair with is her confidante, Lynn?

Together Tricia and Terry face many obstacles, but there are also internal struggles that each character is dealing with as well. The characters are well- developed and the tales of infidelity, abuse, and alcoholism are incorporated in this story that keeps the plot reeling. This book is full of twists and turns, and is difficult to put down. Judy Fogarty has stolen my heart with this one. I love the story of a woman trying to break free of a controlling, pointless relationship and gaining the power and self-confidence to find herself. If you are looking for a romantic, engaging read that leaves you filled with hope and serenity- this is it.

*Bonus- Tons of literary references because Tricia is a book lover who always has a book with her (like me!).

I finished this book in a weekend and it was the perfect story to delve into and lock myself in my hidey-hole with for a few days. I loved reading about women who have lost themselves and learn to find what makes them happy and, in turn, find themselves. I feel as if each character grew as I was reading, learned to have hope, have strength, to love themselves, and to live.

On that note, happy reading, as always!



Thank you to Net Galley for this amazing read in exchange for my review!


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