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The Air You Breathe
by Frances De Pontes Peebles




Overview -
"What a wonderful book. The Air You Breathe was my oxygen supply." --Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

The story of an intense female friendship fueled by affection, envy and pride--and each woman's fear that she would be nothing without the other.

Some friendships, like romance, have the feeling of fate.

Skinny, nine-year-old orphaned Dores is working in the kitchen of a sugar plantation in 1930s Brazil when in walks a girl who changes everything. Gra a, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy sugar baron, is clever, well fed, pretty, and thrillingly ill behaved. Born to wildly different worlds, Dores and Gra a quickly bond over shared mischief, and then, on a deeper level, over music.

One has a voice like a songbird; the other feels melodies in her soul and composes lyrics to match. Music will become their shared passion, the source of their partnership and their rivalry, and for each, the only way out of the life to which each was born. But only one of the two is destined to be a star. Their intimate, volatile bond will determine each of their fortunes--and haunt their memories.

Traveling from Brazil's inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Rio de Janeiro's famous Lapa neighborhood, from Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood back to the irresistible drumbeat of home, The Air You Breathe unfurls a moving portrait of a lifelong friendship--its unparalleled rewards and lasting losses--and considers what we owe to the relationships that shape our lives.

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More About The Air You Breathe by Frances De Pontes Peebles

 
 
 

Overview

"What a wonderful book. The Air You Breathe was my oxygen supply." --Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

The story of an intense female friendship fueled by affection, envy and pride--and each woman's fear that she would be nothing without the other.

Some friendships, like romance, have the feeling of fate.

Skinny, nine-year-old orphaned Dores is working in the kitchen of a sugar plantation in 1930s Brazil when in walks a girl who changes everything. Gra a, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy sugar baron, is clever, well fed, pretty, and thrillingly ill behaved. Born to wildly different worlds, Dores and Gra a quickly bond over shared mischief, and then, on a deeper level, over music.

One has a voice like a songbird; the other feels melodies in her soul and composes lyrics to match. Music will become their shared passion, the source of their partnership and their rivalry, and for each, the only way out of the life to which each was born. But only one of the two is destined to be a star. Their intimate, volatile bond will determine each of their fortunes--and haunt their memories.

Traveling from Brazil's inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Rio de Janeiro's famous Lapa neighborhood, from Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood back to the irresistible drumbeat of home, The Air You Breathe unfurls a moving portrait of a lifelong friendship--its unparalleled rewards and lasting losses--and considers what we owe to the relationships that shape our lives.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735211001
  • ISBN-10: 0735211000
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: July 2019
  • Page Count: 528
  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Book Clubs: July 2019

Starred review
The story of a friendship that spans decades and continents, Frances de Pontes Peebles’ The Air You Breathe is the perfect poolside read. The novel is narrated by wealthy, elderly Dores, who recalls her childhood in the 1930s on a sugar plantation in Brazil and her strong connection with Graça. Dores works in the kitchen, while Graça, whose family owns the plantation, enjoys all the advantages money can provide. The two girls become close, develop a passion for music and move to Rio. Dores proves to be a gifted songwriter, while Graça is a singer of rare talent. Making herself over as Sofía Salvador, Graça becomes a samba queen of world renown. The novel charts the course of the two friends’ lives—years marked by competitiveness and jealousy, romantic affairs and mutual love. De Pontes Peebles moves skillfully through eras and settings, from Miami to Rio to Hollywood, capturing the essence of each. Fans of Elena Ferrante will find much to relish in this richly realized tale.

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