LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020
When Ian Ridley’s wife, the trailblazing sports reporter Vikki Orvice, died of cancer at the age of 56, he found himself plunged deep into a sadness that he expected and a world of madness that he did not. In an attempt to make sense of it all and seek some solace from the brutality of his grief and anxiety, he embarks on a summer of watching county cricket. Reliving bitter-sweet memories in places he and Vikki had visited together, he is alternately unnerved and consoled by the ebbs and flows of his mourning.
But gradually, against a backdrop of the County Championship’s peace and solitude – with the sun on his back and tea, cake and crossword at his side – he finds a way to survive the rhythms and cadences of his grief. The Breath of Sadness is an unflinching account of how we carry on when we are left behind, and a poignant, tender and candid exploration of love and loss.