Ocean Breathing by Barbara Mathias-Riegel


Three months after her beloved husband’s death, Magda Cooper sleeps fitfully with shades up and all lights blazing to ward against shadowy figures that terrorize her at night. Newly retired as a topnotch paralegal, suddenly she’s paralyzed with the thought of venturing beyond her quiet neighborhood in Washington DC. A master fabricator, Magda keeps her panic attacks and agoraphobia a secret from family and friends in order to keep her dignity. Her cover breaks when a desperate call for help comes from her abandoned pregnant niece who lives in a small fishing town in Northern Michigan, 700 miles from Magda’s safety zone.

Magda Cooper could be any one of our neighbors, struggling unseen to us with a sometimes crippling condition, but who has a full life of loss, of love, of making a difference in the lives of those she loves. Told in the first person with a mix of candor and humor, this is an inspiring story of resilience against the throes of anxiety.