I love when an author grabs my attention and I just have to read one more chapter before I turn out the light. That's what happened with The Air We Breathe.
The narrative alternates between events in 2002 and nearly seven years later. Parrish weaves together the story of two characters.
Hannah was a young girl when she went on Saturday errands with her father, including to the bank. There they witnessed a robbery. Her father was shot and Hannah abducted. While Hannah manages to eventually escape her captivity, she becomes silent.
Claire is a woman who has lost nearly all that was meaningful to her. Her husband has left her. Her children are dead and she knows it was her action that killed them. She battles her thoughts by doing crossword puzzles.
The lives of Claire and Hannah intersect in a neighborhood park and Claire reaches out to the silent girl, thinking perhaps to help. Yet Hannah senses it is Claire who needs the help.
Parrish has created a wonderful novel of pain and healing. She deftly intertwines the lives of Claire and Hannah, even after losing touch for six years. It is amazing how the healing flows from each to the other, even when the process is not always peaceful.
This is a well written book. The character development is superb. Hannah learns about Jesus from Claire while Claire herself struggles with her faith.
A captivating and rewarding novel. Make sure you have a few hours because you won't want to put it down.
Christa Parrish is the award winning author of two previous novels. Her second novel won the ECPA Fiction Book of the Year. The Air We Breathe has already been named a finalist for the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award. Christ is creative director of the modern contemporary worship service at her church and co-director of the youth group. She and her husband, author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, have three children in their blended family. Find out more at www.christaparrish.com/.
Bethany House, a Division of Baker Publishing Group, 352 pages.
Publisher's product page.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from Bethany House for the purpose of this review.