September 11, 2018 by TinyNavajo
The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
*Published August 21, 2018*
This was another ARC from ALA New Orleans and it was one that I both loved and hated at the same time if that makes sense. Its premise was what pulled me in when I was browsing the area and while not the type of book that I would usually read, this sounded way too good to let go. And if worse came to worse, then I could give it to my mom who I knew would really enjoy it.
The Air You Breathe is about two girls from two very different ways of life but raised in basically the same house. Orphaned Dores lives and works in the kitchens of the Big House on a sugar plantation in Brazil. Graça’s family owns the plantation and she is the Little Miss, the one who receives everything she asks for. These two bond over mischief and being the only two girls the same age in a place where there is very little else in the world.
As these two girls grow up, they go through different trials. But music brings them back together and keeps them going. A love for music they discovered on the plantation. Graça has the voice of a songbird, each song she sings sounds better the instant she starts to sing. Dores feels the music in her soul and is able to write the lyrics to match. As they make their way from their home on the sugar plantation to Rio de Janeiro, music becomes not just a bond but a shared passion, a way they both want to make their mark on the world. But as they continue to grow, becoming a music star is the destiny for only one of them. Dores and Graça’s intimate and volatile bond will not only influence their music, but it will determine their future, fortune and haunt their memories in their lives to come.
This is a hauntingly beautiful story of two girls who became friends, grew to sisters, and how this bond between them not only brought them together but threatened to tear them apart. I can see the similarities of my own bond with my sister in how these two act around each other. And it brought to my mind memories of how my sister and I would act when we still had to share a room together, but also how we act now that we live several thousand miles apart.
This story felt real and that is how I know that a book made a true impact on me; especially when it was a book that is not in a genre I typically read. While I may not read it again, it is a book that I would recommend to just about anyone, but especially anyone who has a sister.
What books struck an arrow through your heart? Why did it do that? Comment below and let me know!