Invisible as Air
Life surrounds us with millions of threads. Should we pull at them, we will find many pulse with the cacophonies of sound and the motions of the day. If we continue tracing them to our core, we can oftentimes find the threads begin to strain under our fears, sadness, or other more trying emotions. In our moments of hardship, we can feel those threads fray and threaten to snap at a moments notice. It is then we realize how life - invisible as air - entangles us.
Realism makes Zoe Fishman's narrative particularly engulfing. Sylvie Snow's distinct pain of losing her child and her struggle to directly cope with her pain pulsates from the first chapters. The effects of their loss also resonate through Sylvie's husband, Paul, and their son Teddy by channeling their pain in their own cornered manner. Through alternating narratives, Invisible As Air was a book that humanized its characters and allowed readers to envision them as people you encounter each day - they could very well be neighbors that submerse their pain or internal struggles.
While loss and addiction can weigh a book, Fishman's weaves together a poignant story of a family where each family member paints a portrait of life's breaking points and how we can be defined, or broken, by them.
About the Book
Invisible As Air
by Zoe Fishman
Paperback: 416 pages Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
(September 24, 2019)
A provocative and timely new novel by the author of Inheriting Edith, one that will haunt you long after the final page is turned…
Sylvie Snow knows the pressures of expectations: a woman is supposed to work hard, but never be tired; age gracefully, but always be beautiful; fix the family problems, but always be carefree. Sylvie does the grocery shopping, the laundry, the scheduling, the schlepping and the PTA-ing, while planning her son’s Bar Mitzvah and cheerfully tending her husband, Paul, who’s been lying on the sofa with a broken ankle. She’s also secretly addicted to the Oxycontin intended for her husband.
For three years, Sylvie has repressed her grief about the heartbreaking stillbirth of her newborn daughter, Delilah. On the morning of the anniversary of her death, when she just can’t face doing one…more…thing: she takes one—just one—of her husband’s discarded pain pills. And suddenly she feels patient, kinder, and miraculously relaxed. She tells herself that the pills are temporary, just a gift, and that when the supply runs out she’ll go back to her regularly scheduled programming.
But days turn into weeks, and Sylvie slips slowly into a nightmare. At first, Paul and Teddy are completely unaware, but this changes quickly as her desperate choices reveal her desperate state. As the Bar Mitzvah nears, all three of them must face the void within themselves, both alone and together.
About the Author
Zoe Fishman is the bestselling author of Inheriting Edith, Driving Lessons, Saving Ruth and Balancing Acts. She’s the recipient of myriad awards, including a NY Post Pick.
She’s been profiled in Publisher’s Weekly and The Huffington Post among others. Her writing has been published in The Atlanta Journal Constitution as part of their moving “Personal Journey” series.
Zoe worked in the New York publishing industry for thirteen years. She was recently the Visiting Writer at SCAD Atlanta and currently teaches at Emory Continuing Education and The Decatur Writers Studio, at which she is also the Executive Director. She lives in Decatur with her family.