Book review – The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

Caidyn's review (1)

The Air You Breathe


CW: attempted sexual assault, overdose, possible suicide, homophobia, biphobia

Y’all, I’m disappointed in you because of this book.

Seriously, I’m so disappointed in everyone who hasn’t read this book and didn’t hype it up to make me read it sooner! This review is mainly going to be gushing over it, so you’re now warned. And I hope that I make someone read this too.

I read this in one day. I started it around 4-4:30, then I finished it that same day around 9:30. I read it nonstop. I couldn’t put this book down.

This is the story of two women from very different backgrounds. Dores, who is our MC, is an orphaned girl who works in the kitchen on a sugar plantation. Then, there’s Graça, the daughter of the owner who’s a spoiled brat. Yet, because they’re the same age, they become friends. Together, they discover a love of folk music. Samba. Graça sings, Dores composes.

Eventually, they run off together to become famous singers. Well, Graça becomes the famous one. Dores, as always, is in the background.

I have to say, this book is on par with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. While the books are very different, there are similar threads running through both stories. A self-centered woman who will do whatever it takes to go forward. A sapphic relationship. The MCs in both books are bisexual, although Dores, in this book, doesn’t use that word. She just likes men and women. The ending is sad and pulled at my heart.

Really, I decided to read this book on the perfect day for me. It was a bad grief day and I needed to be pulled out my life. Through this book, I was taken from my own life and put into theirs through all of the twists and turns that came with it. Dores pining for Graça and Graça being a horrible person in turn.

It was just, seriously, a beautiful story that included samba songs that tied into each chapter in some way. I was seriously impressed by the book and it’s so underrated. Only one person I’m friends with on Goodreads has read it. It’s definitely on my favorites shelf now just because of how gorgeous the story was.

Talk to me!
Are you planning on reading this book?

6 thoughts on “Book review – The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

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