Sixteen years after David's death, the grief that the author had tried to suppress at the time returned with unexpected ferocity, and changed her life once again.
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About the Author
She married Lorenzo Bevilaqua, a photographer, in 1994, and in 1998 their son, Alessandro, was born. A few years later Nancy became a freelance writer, specializing in travel; her articles, essays, and photography have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Coastal Living, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, several in-flight magazines, and many other publications.
Nancy and Alessandro now live in Florida, where, although she loves the beach on which she lives, Nancy still dreams nearly every night about New York.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sigh... One of those books I read the blurb and don't want to read because I know it will make me sad, but read anyway because I have to hear this person's story, sad though it may be. And it is sad. But love often has a sad ending, and that doesn't make it any less beautiful. I think this author was very brave, both with David, and after, and for writing this. It's an important look into David's life, and I think he would feel honored by it. I was touched by his story, and by the authors willingness to bond with someone she knew she could lose at any time. Not all of us could be so brave.
As it worked out, I read Nancy Bevilaqua’s Holding Breath immediately after rereading a bunch of Jack Kerouac. The juxtaposition of the two makes it easier to explain why Holding Breath is a “must read.” Both writers captured the essence of their subjects with a combination of autobiography and thinly veiled fiction (which they unveiled at the earliest opportunity). Both writers are permanently and inextricably intertwined with their art. We react not only to the story or memoir; we react to the writers as people. As people, they unhesitatingly confess weaknesses and vulnerabilities that leave readers slightly uncomfortable because in America, it’s only cool to reveal enough weakness to make the inevitable happy ending seem poignant. While each writer firmly grounds their story in history, they take care to illuminate the street-level dynamics too often lost in the “official record.” In Holding Breath, you suffer the stares of passers-by, smell the trash in the New York gutter and feel the warmth of an appreciated cup of coffee. The comparison falls apart, however, when it comes to love. Aside from Maggie Cassidy, Kerouacs’ love interests tragically seem more like interests than loves. Nancy and David, however, strike us as 20th century “star-crossed lovers;” the long list of circumstances arrayed against them merely amplifying the longing and eventual grief. Fortunately for us, Nancy fought through and found peace for herself, her family and her readers. Holding Breath is absolutely a “must read.”
Touching....poignant.... so emotional. I cannot imagine the pain and grief that Nancy experienced - at the time she was caring for David - or over the years as she tried to come to terms with her pain and love, but still operate in the realm of "acceptable". Reading Nancy's words - those written now, as she looks back and faces her emotions, and those she wrote during the time living with David and soon after his death - only provides a small glimpse into the love she felt and the pain of losing someone that she was never supposed to love. Who can say why we fall in love with the people we do, and who has the right to say that someone does not deserve to be loved? Nancy followed her heart and gave something to David that he may not have thought he deserved... and perhaps made the last 8 months of his life better than the rest put together. I loved this book, although I shed some tears...