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The Air We Breathe

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  465 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
New from the Winner of ECPA's Fiction Book of the Year

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 ch
Paperback, 348 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Bethany House Publishers
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I enjoy Christa Parrish's poignancy and writing style. She's not afraid to tackle tough issues or controversial topics. And she does so with honest, clean language. At times though in this particular novel - a survivor's tale encompassing catastrophic trauma and crimes against children - I found myself pulling back some. Momentarily, and briefly disengaging. It was intense, more so than I was expecting. It reopened some old wounds and gave me pause. Yet, on the other hand, I couldn't put the boo ...more
Jan 13, 2013 Louise rated it it was amazing
Story Description:

Baker Publishing Group|November 1, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7642-0555-2

New from the Winner of ECPA’s Fiction Book of the Year.

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
Rating 3.5

Ruled by fear and deep wounds, seventeen-year-old Molly Fisk stays hidden away. But everything changes when a woman from her past suddenly reappears.

This was a well written book, but I had a great deal of difficulty with the first half of the book. It seemed somewhat disjointed to me as the time jumped around as well as the characters. I couldn't quite figure out how the characters related, and I also found it moderately depressing. The second half was much better as I began to underst
The Air We Breathe is a contemporary Christian novel. I was pulled right into the story and enjoyed it overall, though the latter half the story drug a bit for me. It's nice to read a book without anything offensive in it.
Jun 29, 2013 Kimberly rated it liked it
I got this from the library and somehow completely missed that it was "Christian" fiction. The story was engrossing from the start, with interesting characters and a clever mystery. But the Jesus references were jarring and distracted from the story, for me. The characters' faith is central to the story, and I understood that, but it didn't need to be so overt with references to "Him", etc. otherwise would be 4 stars.
Jan 18, 2013 Deborah rated it liked it
Good story overall. Didnt realize it was christian fiction which comes on a bit too strong for me but story was good
Jul 02, 2016 Jerry rated it really liked it
A rather convoluted story...but a very good one! The themes may bother some people, though; proceed with caution.
Jan 26, 2017 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Another excellent Christian book by this author
Dec 23, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
This is the most recent book I was given to review for Bethany House Publishers.

It was a quick and mostly engrossing read, but I honestly can’t come up with a whole lot to say about it. The book is divided into chapters that each follow a different character in one of two years–Molly in 2009, Hanna in 2002, Claire in 2002, and the same Claire in 2009. It’s clear from the get-go that their stories are interconnected somehow, but it takes most of the book for the connections to be explained. For w
Lisa Johnson
Feb 01, 2013 Lisa Johnson rated it really liked it
Title: The Air We Breathe
Author: Christa Parrish
Pages: 352
Year: 2012
Publisher: Bethany
This book is part mystery, part suspense, but there’s more to this story than meets the eye. At the beginning of The Air We Breathe, I couldn’t get into the rhythm of the story mainly because I wanted to know where the author was leading. Basically, I wanted to know the ending of the novel then go back and read the beginning as well as middle sections. Have you ever actually done that?
In this unique novel, Chri
Nov 26, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
Christa Parrish has one of the most unique voices in Christian fiction. Her writing is deeply descriptive, to the point that you see and smell and hear the surroundings. How the characters think and feel is also very personally detailed, and you feel like you're right there, almost a part of it all rather than an observer.

"The Air We Breathe" tells its story from a few different points of view. There is Molly in 2009, a teenaged girl who is terrified to leave her home. She hasn't stepped outside
Jan 18, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
I received The Air We Breathe for free from Bethany House for the purposes of this review.

The premise of the book--a teenage girl who will never venture outside--was intriguing. What made her this way? What happened in her life that she must stay within the confines of her home?

These questions were answered throughout the book, as the story weaves back and forth between the years 2002 and 2009, and between being told through chapters about the characters Molly, Hanna, and Claire. The book does a
Lynn Spencer
Sep 14, 2012 Lynn Spencer rated it liked it
I'd give this 3.5 stars. Normally, I love Christa Parrish's work. I read a fair amount of inspirational romance and fiction, and one thing I like about Parrish's books are that her characters don't seem like something out of an idealized vision of the 1950's. She fills her books with people who seem modern, real, and often quite flawed. That's true of The Air We Breathe, and I did enjoy parts of this book, but somehow the narrative didn't flow as naturally here as in her previous novels.

This boo
Dec 17, 2012 Shelby rated it it was amazing
Eleven-year-old Hanna is excited about her day in town with her Dad. Every Saturday is their day. They walk into the bank completely oblivious to what they were about to experience. Next thing she knows, Hanna has witnessed a bank robbery, her father’s murder, and been kidnapped. Weeks later, by God’s grace, Hanna escapes and is reunited with her mother. But she is never the same. She doesn’t even talk…until she meets Claire. Claire, who is also hurting from past loss, strikes an unlikely friend ...more
Beth Peninger
Mar 22, 2013 Beth Peninger rated it really liked it
This is my first read of Parrish and I really liked it. It's also her newest book so I'll have to pick up her previous two at some point.
Molly and Louise are a mother and daughter who live on remote Dorsett Island in Maine. Only heavily populated in the summer with tourists, it serves as the perfect place to live for Molly, who hasn't been outdoors in about 5 years. Molly has holed up in her home and allows fear of the past to keep her in hiding. The story of Molly and Louise comes out slowly t
Christian Fiction Addiction
Feb 03, 2013 Christian Fiction Addiction rated it it was amazing
Writing with a tender touch, author Christa Parrish has penned a novel that will move and inspire you. I dove into the novel uncertain what to expect, as I have not read a novel by this author in the past. I soon became captivated by the story of Molly, heart-broken by the trauma she experienced, and cheering her on as she slowly begins to face the fears and anxieties that have held her captive for so long. I likewise connected with the story of Claire, offering healing from her own experiences ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Marianne rated it it was amazing
I will not look at museums the same way again. I have never enjoyed wax museums, but after reading this novel, I might be prepared to wander into one again. Christa does a fantastic job of bringing the reader into the mind of the characters. Because of circumstances, Molly does not venture outside of the four walls of the museum, but she does have friends, and she talks to the wax creations. I felt the dust cling to me as I crouched in the dark places with Molly, and heard the unique alarm that ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
If my schedule would have allowed it, I would have sat down and read this book in one sitting. And that, for me, is the first sign that a book is worth reading. Since I could not do that, I found myself longing to read it whenever I was not and trying to prop it open and read it as I did my chores.

I appreciated the way the story wove together the past and the present and the characters involved. And I found myself identifying with the main characters, though I had never experienced the circumsta
Dec 27, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Ever since watching her father die and being held captive by his killers, Hanna refuses to talk....until the day she meets Claire Rodriguez at a park and sees her own pain mirrored in Claire's eyes. With Claire's help, Hanna begins to make progress until her mother whisked her away to a remote little town in Maine, changing her name to Molly. Still unable to shake her fears, seventeen year old Molly now talks but refuses to leave the wax museum where she and her mom work and live. When a chance ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Bethany rated it it was amazing
Their family had been a typical family living the American dream. But a weekend shopping trip with her father turns into a nightmare for 11 year old Hannah, when her father is killed in a bank robbery and she is kidnapped by her fathers murderers who can't risk losing her because she is a witness. She is mistreated and abused and only by a miracle does she escape, but her life is in shambles, she's always afraid they will find her and always blames herself for her daddy's death.
There is only one
Christina Banks
Jan 18, 2013 Christina Banks rated it it was amazing
This book pulled me in and held me captive till 3:30 AM.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book when I first started, but the back cover sounded interesting. As I opened the book the fist sentence caught my attention ("She wanted to poke out Elvis's eyes.") As I read further the book pulled me into its spell. Each chapter led to more questions that I needed to find the answer to. The characters grew and deepened, and I could not put the book down. Even though I knew I would be regretting
C.E. Hart
Dec 31, 2012 C.E. Hart rated it really liked it
The Air We Breathe started a little slow, but as the story unfolded, it gained a steady pace.

One of the opening scenes, in which a young girl enters a bank with her father, is captured forever in my mind. The author used such vivid imagery, I felt I was there. I love a story that pulls me in like that.

Molly is a well developed character, and I was able to relate to her fears and inner turmoil.

I don't want to risk revealing too much about the plot, so I'll just share that The Air We Breathe is a
Kathleen Basi
Sep 17, 2013 Kathleen Basi rated it really liked it
This was a compelling book. Six years ago, Molly's name was Hanna. She watched her father killed by bank robbers, who then kidnapped her and held her for a couple of weeks. Recovery for her never happened; she stopped talking almost entirely and eventually became a prisoner within the four walls of her home, too afraid to leave.

Counterpoint to this is Claire, who had a car accident in which all three of her children were killed.

These two wounded souls encounter each other in the past, when the w
Jan 28, 2013 Cafelilybookreviews rated it it was ok
Christa Parrish made my list of favorite authors, with Watch Over Me. I could not put that book down and didn't want it to end.

Unfortunately, I did not feel quite the same way about The Air We Breathe, but it was probably just me, judging by the rave reviews its getting on other sites. This book did not hold a candle to Watch Over Me, in my opinion.

Overall, it was dark, dreary and I felt like it dragged in several places. I forced myself to finish it, mainly because I needed closure. I *had* to
Dec 16, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it
Christa Parrish managed to beautifully tell the story of two grieving woman who were able to help each other out. I loved the way she switched back and forth between Molly and Claire and 2002 and 2009. It was done in such a way that wasn’t confusing at all, but enhanced the story. She approached grief, healing, and hope in such a way that was believable and not over the top or preachy, unlike a lot of Christian fiction that seems almost forced.

She told the story in such a way that was gripping a
Elizabeth Dyck
When I started to read this book, it kind of confused me. It was like there were three stories going on at one time. Then I looked at what the dates were and realized that two of three characters were just memories of what had happened many years before.
Other than that, I think it was a captivating read at least for me. Some things could have been written a little different, though that’s just my opinion.
When eleven year old Hanna is kidnapped during a bank robbery, her life changed drastically.
Mary Ann Benjamins
Jan 30, 2013 Mary Ann Benjamins rated it really liked it
The Air We Breathe, by Christa Parrish is one of those amazing stories that stay with you. Christa Parrish explores the broken worlds of Molly Fisk, eighteen and afraid to walk out her door into the world and Claire Rodriguez whose own ghosts keep her tightly locked down. The lives of these two people each paralyzed by their own personal tragedies intersect and what comes from a chance meeting can only be a ‘God-thing.’ I have to admit that I usually stick to inspirational romance—preferably wit ...more
Nov 09, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
"The Air We Breathe" is a touching reminder of how God inserts persons into our lives at the right times, just when we need them. Molly is a young woman who experienced a childhood trauma. Shortly after, she meets Claire, who is just the right person at just the right time. In a twist of fate, she loses contact abruptly with Claire. Fast forward years, and a chance meeting reestablishes contact between the two women. The renewed relationship helps Molly overcome her fears and she is able to begi ...more
Pat Dyer
Mar 21, 2013 Pat Dyer rated it really liked it
Christa Parrish breathes life into this story of fear, hope, and faith in the book in which the characters immediately capture your heart and you find it difficult to lay the book aside, even for a few moments.

While I've read a few other books in which the plot switched back and forth between different time periods and characters, this is the first one that has held my interest so intently, as I searched for clues of the connection. Quite honestly, the revelation caught me by surprise.

Diane  Sugars
Jan 25, 2013 Diane Sugars rated it it was amazing
Oh my, I loved this book! This story is amazing! This is one of those books that you absolutley hate to finish because you know that you are going to miss the characters and the story, at least I sure am! The author did such an amazing job of making these characters come to life and the storyline is simply gripping. It grabs ahold of you and does not let you go. It is heartbreaking, sad, and beautiful all at once. You cannot help but fall in love with the characters in this story. I love the Chr ...more
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Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of four novels and founder of Breaking the Sea Ministries. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, pastor and writer Chris Coppernoll, and they have four children in their blended family. When not writing, she is creative director of Concentric, a contemporary "arts-based" worship service, co-leads her church's youth ministry, and produces a week ...more
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