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Sweet Breath of Memory

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Life is in the telling.

With its tree-lined streets, vibrant downtown and curbside planters of spring bulbs, Amberley, Massachusetts, seems a good place for Cate Saunders to start over. It's been two years since her husband, John, was killed in Iraq and life has been a struggle. Her new job as a caregiver doesn't pay much, but the locals are welcoming. In fact, Cate has bar
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Kensington
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  182 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was such a good book! It was the fictional story of how women's lives in a small town were intertwined... some from the beginning and other's coming later into their lives. It depicts, though each had experienced trauma, grief of pain in different ways, how each helped the other throughout their lives. While the main story was about 1 year of life for these women in the small town, characters would reflect back to previous times, sharing difficult parts of their lives. It related, in a very ...more
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

In Sweet Breath of Memory, Ariella Cohen seamlessly weaves past and present into a poignant yet uplifting story of healing.

Although it has been two years since her husband John's death in Iraq, Cate Saunders is still deeply mourning his loss. After losing her house due to unforeseen circumstances, she accepts a job as a home health care aide in Amberley, MA. The small town is a close-knit community of influential women who take Cate under their protective wing. Through her new friends'
Suze Lavender
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cate needs a fresh start. She is broke and has to earn some money. Her husband John died two years ago and she's still lost. She needs a job though and in Amberley there's work for her. Helen hires her as a caregiver and the women in Amberley completely trust her judgement, which gives them the confidence to immediately treat Cate as a friend. She first meets Sheila, the owner of an Italian grocery shop. She makes the most delicious food and offers Cate a place to stay. Gaby owns the diner acros ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cate arrives in the small town of Amberly as a depressed and broken woman. She has no family and her beloved husband has been killed in Iraq. She has lost her home and she is searching for peace and for somewhere to live where she won't constantly be reminded of John. At first the women In Town appear to be nosy busybodies but as Cate starts to share her life story, she finds that they are loving and caring friends. They all have a story of their own but the women band together to help Cate heal ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible and shows how compassion, friendship and encouragement can help people. I thought this book was incredible to read and found it hard to put down. Ariella Cohen pulled everything together in a way that it appealed to everyone. Can't wait for her Sequel. I really want to know how things for Cate and the results of her husband's death. Even though I rated this book 5 stars, I didn't like the swear words and feel they could have been left out. I really enjoyed this book and c ...more
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An uplifting, heartwarming and compelling tale of second chances, new beginnings, healing and redemption, Sweet Breath of Memory is a terrific debut novel from a wonderful new writer, Ariella Cohen.

Cate Saunders needs a fresh start. After the death of her husband John in Iraq, life has been one constant struggle and the time has come for her to start over and begin anew. Moving to Amberley, Massachusetts with its tree-lined streets, vibrant community and profusion of plants and flowers seems to

Title: Sweet Breath of Memory
Author: Ariella Cohen
Publisher: Kingsington Books
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"Sweet Breath of Memory"

My Thoughts....

I will say that this story "Sweet Breath of Memory" was one excellent read that left me saying that was some read that did keep my attention not wanting to put it down until the end. I loved the way this author wrote so well that it seems to draw you into the story as if you are right there. I found that it reads so 'smoothly, lyrical an
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
Sweet Breath of Memory opens in March 2010 with Cate embarking on a bus to Amberley from Boston to make start a new life. Cate is hurting, she is leaving behind her home; one is which she entered as a newlywed with hopes and dreams – instead now her belongings are in storage and she is left only with memories. Her husband John was killed in Iraq, immediately after his death she sought solace in the church however platitudes from the priest just made her more angry and just wants answers surround ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
I can't get into this; the writing rubs me the wrong way.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Amazing book! Probably would've given 5 stars if not for the profanity.
S. Daisy
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like poetic, flowery prose
Shelves: blog-books
This is a women's fiction novel about a woman named Cate trying to put her life back together after her husband was killed in a mysterious wartime accident. She moves to a little town called Amberley to get away, find work, and heal. It turns out that the town is a better place for healing than she had ever thought possible, as she meets many new friends who help her along the way.

The book was good, although it wasn't really my kind of literature. There were a couple things that I disliked abou
Leslie Lindsay
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an amazingly insightful and inspiring read; SWEET BREATH OF MEMORY (releasing June 28, 2016) literally took *my* breath away.

Ariella Cohen is absolutely at the top of her game with this tender and gorgeously written tale about the enduring nature of love, the importance of friendship, and the eternal longing for peace. But it's a rare find to come across a book which encapsulates so many aspects of a good read--but this one did.

Cohen weaves a narrative that takes readers on quite a journey
Beth (bibliobeth)
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
First of all, a huge thank you to the author of this stunning novel, Ariella Cohen for sending me a copy of her debut novel in return for an honest review. I'm truly honoured that I had an opportunity to read this book, I found it to be a highly satisfying and emotional read and I absolutely loved all the characters that the author has created. The novel itself has elements of both contemporary and historical fiction and I enjoyed how each strand was pulled together to create a narrative that I' ...more
Once Upon a Romance Reviews

4.25 Stars

This is book with an interesting storyline. It tells the story of two women, who are victims of war, but are a generation apart. Cate lost her husband in Iraq and moves to Amberley to forget. Miriam was a Holocaust survivor that moved to Amberley because of a promise made to her father. Miriam writes her life experiences down and Cate happens to find these notes shortly after her arrival in Amberley. She connects with Miriam through these notes and the shared suffering due to a war.

Julie Barrett
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sweet Breath of Memory by Ariella Cohen
Sounded like a good story line. Book starts out with Cate Saunders and she's relocating to a town outside of Boston. She just has to get away from where she lived with John. He's gone now thanks to the war in Iraq and he was all she had, except his grandmother. The money from the government will keep her in the nursing home.
Cate decides to pursue being a home health aide and they accepted
to train her before she can do home health aid services. She comes in
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Sweet Breath of Memory is a beautifully written debut novel by author Ariella Cohen. I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading this book, but will admit that it was a book that completely took me by surprise.

Cate Saunders has been struggling ever since her husband, John, was killed while he was deployed in Iraq. Looking for a new place to start over, Cate accepts a job as a caregiver in Amberley, Massachusetts. She is immediately welcomed by the locals, and quickly becomes friends with
Jo Barton
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a treat it's been to spend the last few days in the fictional Massachusetts town of Amberley and to get to know a group of ladies who I would dearly love to call my friends. The warm and supportive nature of their friendship oozes with every word that this talented debut author shares with her readers.

From the very start of the novel I was drawn into the story of Cate, a war widow, who has troubles aplenty, but who is not used to sharing her feelings, that is, until she steps into Gaby's di
Wow, Ariella Cohen knows how to write. Her prose is carefully crafted, beautiful and delicate. The vivid imagery is so breathtaking and refreshing that I was just shaking my head in awe during the first chapter.

The foundation of this book- and it's driving force- is the relationships between the main female characters. The solid friendship and trust between the women of Amberley and the growth of intimacy between them and the struggling newcomer Cate propelled me through the book more than the
Anne Martin
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: goodreads-arc
I enjoyed this book and like most of the readers, I would love to see the small town where it takes place.
The first part of the book left me wanting badly to visit. What a dream! A town where people can become close friends in days, where you may tell your secrets without fear they would be repeated or misused; a place where you may find peace, be accepted for what you are -and eat great food too...
Cate comes to Cedar Cove , oh, sorry, this is another town, just as nice and sweet as Cedar Cove
Jun 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Kensington Books and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Sweet Breath of Memory, in exchange for an honest review.

Life has handed Cate Saunders a cruel blow - first, she lost her husband, then the home they shared. With no other offers, Cate has taken an opportunity in Amberley, a small town in Western Massachusetts. Sheila Morazzo, owner of a gourmet grocery and café, as well as mayor of the picturesque town, takes Cate under her wing, providing a much needed helping hand. When all
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised to find that this book was superb!! When I read about it and looked at the cover illustration and title, I found this would be a light summer read about the friendship between a group of women in Massachusetts.

I was very wrong. This was one of the best books that I have ever read, and I read about 4 books per month. The relationships are described in great detail and provide insight into the characters lives. The book also has an anti-war theme and carefully examines the impact o
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Cate Saunders is a widow, her husband John died in Iraq, two years earlier. With the constant cost of keeping his grandmother in a care facility, her money has soon disappeared and she loses their house. She knows she needs to find work but the only person who offered her a job is in a small town, Amberley. She begins work as a caregiver. The pay is poor but as soon as she steps foot in the town, she feels welcomed. She soon finds a small apartment at a very reasonable rate and finds friends amo ...more
Sep 10, 2016 added it
Shelves: fiction
Cate, a widow whose husband was killed in Iraq, moves to a small town, where several women help her find a job, a place to live, a reason to live without her husband. As Cate gets to know the strong, brave women as friends, each friend tells Cate of past events that changed them as her husband's changed her. The apartment Cate lives had been home to a holocaust survivor, Miriam. Somehow, bits of Miriam's journals appear in the apartment in random places and times. Miriam's journal entries tell o ...more
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, well written story, that keeps you curious from the very beginning. It is that kind of book that remains with you long after you finished it. I particularly loved the way in which the sentimental intricacies are revealed, delicately. The author's storytelling is another main asset of the book and I am looking forward to read more books by Ariella Cohen.
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher via
May 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was just not what I thought it would be. It was just a little to predictable for my taste. A definite woman-power book. Not much on male characters here... Plus these women eat all the time! HAH! I would have put it down, but once I start a book, I am committed.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story of relationships. The pacing for the development of these relationships is realistic. Some dialogue is stilted, but the beauty and love in the story trumps that minor issue.
Life is hard, but we can reach out to others and make it better.
Alice Yoder
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Read like a Hallmark book to me. It was "fluffy". A quick read for the beach and/or vacation.
Chris Conley
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is very well written. The intertwined stories of loss and how women coped with it are engaging.
Ellen Brenner
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved the building of different stories together and how the community survives because of the people within it. Enjoyed the varying WWII stories woven in.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Goodreads Librari...: Review 8 99 Jun 03, 2016 06:48AM  

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SWEET BREATH OF MEMORY is “...a heartwarming story of survival, forgiveness, and moving on.” – Booklist. The novel is available in trade paperback, ebook and Large Print hardcover.
Ariella believes in the healing power of cat purrs, coffee, Vivaldi and almond cookies. During the last summer Olympics, she felt compelled to run into the garden and prove she's still a gymnast. It wasn't pretty.