Monday, January 28, 2013

Christa Parrish's The Air We Breathe ~ Reviewed

By Christa Parrish
Published by Bethany House
352 Pages

Book Cover:  

Seventeen-year-old Molly Fisk does not go outside. She's ruled by anxiety and only feels safe in the tiny tourist-town museum she and her mother run and call home. Yearning to live free but unable to overcome deep wounds from her past, she stays hidden away. Then the chance arrival of a woman Molly knew six years ago changes everything. 
Six years ago, newly single Claire Rodriguez was an empty shell. Only in the unique friendship she strikes up with a young girl--a silent girl who'll only talk to Claire--does she see the possibility of healing. But one day the girl and her mother vanish, their house abandoned. What happened that drove them away? And how can Claire now offer Molly the same chance at finding a life anew?


Christa Parrish has readers instantly connect with and care about her characters. They and their situation will tug at your heart strings as the story opens up with Hannah spending the day with her Dad. What was supposed to be a special day out turns out to be a nightmare she’ll re-live the rest of her days.

I’m thankful for the review copy of Christa’s new book. It’s an engaging, hopeful and inspirational read. This author develops her characters so they become your friends. She takes you inside their mind revealing their motives behind their behavior, their hurts and helping you understand and relate to their brokenness. The author pens an authentic, real and honest story talking about topics we don’t normally discuss.

Hannah and Claire have a divine appointment. Hope and healing comes to these two in the most unexpected way. I appreciated reading about their courage and strength to take the first step toward healing.  Its hard but with God’s help all things are possible. Will they continue to take more steps in this journey and do what it takes to receive their healing?

The story starts with Hannah going through an experience we’d hear about on the daily news. She’s forever changed by this event. She has scars no one can see. The six year old girl has stopped talking because of this event, “She wasn’t not speaking on purpose. She tried sometimes, but letters jumbled and their pointy edges stick in her lungs, because even through the words were in her head, the sounds came from her chest, her diaphragm quivering up and down trying to push them out…She felt them all the time, all the unspoken words lumped together, filling her up. Dr. Diane said she might explode if she didn’t talk. Hanna Believed her.”

Claire had a few demons of her own. She was out for a walk trying to forget about the tough times she faced and her reoccurring nightmares. These horrific times have crippled her. She needed answers. On her walk she spies a young girl on a swing all by herself. Claire asks the girl if she wants a push. She nods. So she starts to push her from the front. Hannah looks at Claire and says, “Your necklace.”

Claire touches the crystal necklace she wore very day. “My son gave it to me.”
“I saw one like it on T.V. It hurts you!”
“What does? The Cross?”
“When you say about your son! My mom looks at me like that too!”

Hannah knew Claire spoke out of pain and loss and knew she’d understand more than the others. She sensed that Claire might want freedom from the fear, healing for her soul and a deep understanding of loss and anxiety.”

Hannah’s mom witnesses’ the miracle that just took place between Claire and Hannah. She gets Dr. Diane on the phone and the Dr. asks if Claire would join them in the next counseling session. Claire agrees. She’s not sure why she agreed to go did but she knew she had to be there. The Mom asks her what they talked about, Claire says, “She didn’t say much.”

“Not much is everything. Hannah hasn’t said a word in four months.”

Christia’s novel is a compelling read that has you instantly care for her characters. There’s a hint of mystery in the mix and a spiritual struggle as these women fight for freedom from their fears.  I appreciated the fact this author wasn’t graphic in describing the tragedy both of these women faced. She has the reader understand what’s up without all the details. I like that.

Christa Parrish writes of broken people stuck in the insurmountable pain of the past, which has crippled them on the inside with a fear that controls their life in the present.  The characters are hurting and in search of peace. All are looking for healing, acceptance, and forgiveness. Each can see a way out of the pain and have restoration for their soul. This author shows how God often uses others who have walked in our shoes to draw us close to Him. They don’t have all the answers but take one day at a time in their faith journey and offer hope.

This is a read you won’t soon forget! There are a few surprises for the reader along the way. Part of this book takes place in a wax museum in Maine. It’s an unusual setting that makes it an interesting and hopeful read with a satisfying ending!!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

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