Naomi's Reviews > How to Breathe Underwater

How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
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Feb 21, 12


This is a stunning collection of short fiction. Every story is precisely crafted, Orringer's prose breathtaking and heartbreaking. The title could not be more perfect; in each story, the characters are learning to breathe underwater. Orringer's characters are fully rendered; they are young girls struggling to deal with the curve balls that life throws at them from the illnesses of mothers to the lure of drugs or religion to coming to terms with surviving a car crash in which someone else drowns (hence the collection's title.)Orringer's language makes me swoon; I don't know how else to put it. Her stories are dark but (with the exception of "Pilgrims")not without hope. This is my second Orringer book; I can't wait for the third.
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