Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Bethany House The Air We Breathe

This product is no longer available. Continue shopping at Christianbook.com.

Bethany House The Air We Breathe

Seventeen-year-old Molly Fisk never intended to stay locked up inside the museum where she and her mother work and live. But now she won't leave---not even to go on a date. When the only person who can help her appears unexpectedly, will Molly finally confront her traumatic past---and allow herself to heal? 352 pages, softcover from Bethany.
Average Customer Rating:
4.706 out of 5
4.7
 out of 
5
(17 Reviews) 17
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (17 reviews)
5 stars
13
4 stars
3
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0
17 out of 17100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Air We Breathe
Review 1 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good book

Date:February 20, 2013
Customer Avatar
SoaringEagle
Location:USA
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Air We Breathe by Christa Parrish is about a girl named Molly who lives with her mother in a wax museum in a small, touristy town. She has a lot of anxiety and will not leave the safety of the museum walls. There is much more to this story, but you will have to read it to find out more.
In the beginning, I had a hard time getting into the book. It was a bit confusing with the chapters changing the character names/years. I caught on after a while and it was fine afterward. When I got to the last chapter before part two, then I got into the story and kept wanting to know what would happen. God brought about the right people at the right time to help with Molly's healing.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in return for my honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a fantastic novel

Date:February 11, 2013
Customer Avatar
Marianne
Location:Wanham, Alberta
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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 went off when someone rambled into the building. The musty smell of old things, of wax heated, of mold only caused the creepy noises to be louder in the old edifice. Molly's Mom was protecting her in the only way she knew.
Am I enough aware of those around me, that when there is someone silently crying out for a friend that I am willing to reach out to them? Must I have been in the same situations, and have had the same things happen to me in order for me to have empathy and to help? Can I feel their cry, or am I so self absorbed that I am unconscious of those in need?
This is the first novel of Christa's that I have read, but I will be looking for her where fine books are sold!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers and Julie Warkentin for the purpose of reviewing. A positive critique was not required! The opinions stated are my own.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Written with a tender touch

Date:February 3, 2013
Customer Avatar
Christianfictionaddiction
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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 of grief and loss, and I loved how the author wove the lives of Claire and Molly together. The characters are created with complete realism, and readers are sure to glimpse bits of their own humanity within the pages of this story. Despite being written with emotion and depth, the story definitely moves along at a good pace and kept me engaged from beginning to end. Christa Parrish has won a new fan in her latest contemporary fiction offering, and I know that I will be keeping my eye out for her next book for sure!
I award this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. Fans of contemporary novels that feature compelling characters and the wonderful freedom that comes from supping of God's grace will be sure to enjoy this novel. Warning: Expect a tear or two!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Exceptional Book

Date:January 31, 2013
Customer Avatar
KavR
Location:Canada
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
An amazing read that is refreshingly different. Stark honesty and gritty realism pack an emotional punch and left me lingering over plot and characters long after I'd finished the last page. Complex story strands spin a fascinating web of desperation and hope. The point of view switches between Molly and Claire and I was riveted by how their stories intertwined. And the Lord is at the heart of it all. An exceptional book that will fascinate you even as it affirms that no matter what 'God is in His Heaven and all is right with the world.'
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

the air we breathe review

Date:January 29, 2013
Customer Avatar
beckie
Age:35-44
Gender:female
"The Air We Breathe" by Christa Parrish is a well written, sad novel. The characters are wonderfully developed, the plot is perfect, it is an excellent book. It is also very depressing. Hannah is a 11 year old girl who while with her father at a bank it is robbed. The robbers kill her father and take Hannah with them. They then keep her for 2 weeks in a cage, doing what ever pleases them. Claire is a childless mother of three. Her children were killed in a car accident; her husband left her shortly afterwards for another women. The two characters are drawn to each other. Both are also either discovering or reconnecting with God to help them through their ordeals. Hannah goes into hiding with her mother for 6 years. She becomes terrified of all outdoors eventually never leaving her home for any reason. On a happenstance/miracle she reconnects with Claire. The two then lean back on each other to begin healing. Good book, but definitely a downer. I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I really enjoyed this book!

Date:January 18, 2013
Customer Avatar
Pamla
Location:Arkansas, USA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
At first I wasn't sure I was going to like this book, but the more I read the more I was pulled into the struggles of these women.
It showed me that God does have a plan and nothing happens by accident. My choices can affect how a situation plays out, but God is still there. The book reminded me that I need to be more sensitive to that still small voice inside of me. That just an act of kindness can change someone's whole life. That calling on Jesus, no matter how I pronounce His name, He will be there for me.
I highly recommend this book, it is not only a good read, it will remind you how easily you can influence and make a difference in the lives of others.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best book I've read in a long time!!!

Date:January 17, 2013
Customer Avatar
Beth
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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 person that Hannah trust enough to talk to but her mom is jealous and distrustful of this stranger and eventually she and Hannah disappear without a trace, both fearing for their very lives.
I found this book hard to review, it is so deep, so sad, and so real!
I was emotionally exhausted by the time this book was over. I felt like I knew these people, feared for them everyday, prayed for them, and lost them.
The ending was so sweet and hopeful, like a rainbow after a terrible storm, so subtle yet so full of promise!
Read "The Air We Breather", I don't think you will regret it. This is THE best book I have read in quite awhile!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 14, 2013
Customer Avatar
Foutchy
This book is about a 17-year-old girl whose life is ruled by fear. Although she wants to break free from her past she is held back until a former friend finds her again six years later. The only thing I disliked about the book was how it switched back and forth in time and with chapters involving three different characters. It was definitely confusing for the first couple of chapters. Overall I really liked this book and look forward to reading other books by Parrish (this was my first).
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:January 10, 2013
Molly Fisk and her mother work in a wax museum in a tourist town. Due to her troubled past, Molly is gripped with fear and unable to leave the museum. Sadly, the museum has become her safe haven and the wax figures are her only friends that know about her past. Although the museum is her safe place, it often feels like a prison as she longs to be free. Molly’s relationship with her mother does not help matters as they do not discuss the past and act like nothing happened.
Claire Rodriquez was barely getting by in life. A tragic accident left her with feelings of guilt that she found difficult to work through. One day Claire was at a park and met a little girl named, Hanna. Claire reached out to the little girl and she responded. Unbeknownst to Claire, Hanna had not spoken to anyone in quite some time as she was present at a horrific crime scene that left her paralyzed with fear. Hanna sensed Claire’s pain and believed that Claire may be able to help her through her pain.
This book contains several stories that end up weaving together. I must say that while reading the first hundred pages I could not decide if I liked this book. There were moments when I did not want to continue reading it as it was a little too graphic for my liking. Hanna was present at a crime scene and what she had to endure was difficult to read. However, I am glad I continued on as I ended up really liking the book and felt it had a lot of valuable lessons. This book definitely takes you on an adventure with all of the twists and turns. Another thing to note is that the each chapter begins with the name of the character (Molly, Claire or Hanna), the month and the year. I found this to be very confusing at times as you have to keep the characters straight, as well as, what month/year the author is talking about. I think I would have enjoyed a different format but once I was near the end of the book everything made more sense.
Overall, I would recommend this book as it illustrates God’s perfect timing and how all of us are put on this earth for a reason. Although our situations may be difficult, the Lord uses them for our good and the good of others.
*This book was provided by Bethany House for my honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Date:January 9, 2013
Customer Avatar
JohnDeereGirl
Location:Plainfield, Indiana
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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 friendship with Hanna, and soon finds that this little girl is helping her to heal from the pain. But then Hanna and her mother vanish Claire, has no idea where they are or what happened. Several years later, Claire encounters Molly Fisk. Can Claire help Molly heal from her past in the same way that Hanna helped her to?
I cannot explain how much I loved this book! The storyline, characters and non-stop questions left me hungry for more. My mind constantly drifted back to the story, curious of what would happen next. These are the signs of a good book! One of the aspects of the books I liked would be Parrish’s writing style. She switches back and forth between Claire, Hanna, and Molly to give you more insight and details of the story. I also liked the fact that Parrish doesn’t drag things out until they get boring, or use clichés frequently.
Overall, I loved this book and would highly recommend it. The plot is original, the writing is interesting, and the story is one of love, healing, and trust in God’s sovereign plan.
Note: I received a copy of this free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, however, my opinions are my own.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Emotional reading

Date:December 28, 2012
Customer Avatar
Martha
Location:Kalispell, MT
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Molly Fisk is trapped. Trapped inside her house, by fear from the past, a past that she does not want to remember. In hiding, with her mother, she however, is finding herself not satisfied with the life of staying inside the wax museum that she and her mother run for a living.
When her friends come to visit, she is like a normal 17 year old, but when they ask her to go somewhere with them, she balks and finds excuses.
Claire is trapped in another world. It is the world of blame and guilt caused by her mind. She blames herself for a car accident that claimed the lives of her children, including her unborn child. The subsequent divorce, isolation and issues that bound up her heart were one day forgotten somewhat when she met Hanna, a little girl whom refused to speak to anyone except her.
The story is well written with some lack of explanation though too far into the story. I had to fill in a few of the blanks in my own mind, but would have liked a little more details sooner along in the story. (Spoiler Alert) The one thing that was missing was the info on what happened to the consequences of the mother’s crime, even though she had a valid reason for committing it.
I found the story very interesting, winding around heart and mind issues. The fear that can paralyze a person portrayed very well throughout the story.
Even though, I wished the story were told in a different order, I would highly recommend it. It does contain some graphic descriptions of the violent act committed against a little girl and her father as a warning if you are sensitive.
This book was provided by Bethany House for review
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Years of pain and God's timing and intervention

Date:December 26, 2012
Customer Avatar
mcaldwell
Location:Erie, PA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Wow – what an excellent story! Follow the heart-breaking yet healing story of Claire and Hanna who are drawn to each other through God’s intervention. I found it to be a unique story line and appreciated the imagery of the wax museum and its frozen-in-time figures. Hanna and Claire are both suffering from survivor’s guilt. How that traps them over the years is drawn in a way that readers feel for these characters. I know it made me hope that I could give support to friends with these sorts of deeply-buried pain. According to Beverly in the story, God puts us in places sometimes that we do not understand but they are exactly the places where he wants us. To me, this book was a page-turner. Thank you to Bethany House for providing a review copy.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Review: The Air We Breathe

Date:December 20, 2012
Customer Avatar
Carole Jarvis
Location:Jonesboro, Georgia
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Air We Breathe is the third novel by award-winning author, Christa Parrish, and has been named a finalist for the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award. Set on an island off the coast of Maine, Parrish seamlessly weaves together the stories of two hurting women in narratives set almost seven years apart.
Seventeen-year-old Molly and her mother live and work in a wax museum located in an island tourist town. Molly copes with tragic events from the past by never leaving the museum, and the wax figures become her "secret keepers." Six years earlier, a still grieving Claire reluctantly befriends a young girl who senses in Claire a similar loss and reaches out to her. As these two slowly begin a healing journey, however, the young girl and her mother suddenly disappear - only to meet, seemingly by chance, six years later.
This book was a delightful discovery, and Christa Parrish is another name that I can add to my growing list of authors who write in a more literary style with rich characterization.
Molly is a complex, sympathetic character. Molly "wasn't much more than the mop she cleaned the lobby floor with, a pole of wood and dull cotton tresses. . . . She wanted someone to strip off her skin and look beneath, to the tissue and vessel and bone, and see everything that she kept hidden away - to prove she wasn't wax but flesh. She wanted normal."
Claire grieves after heartbreaking losses as the result of a traffic accident. "There was a neediness that came from being abandoned by a husband, a desire to know that it wasn't her, but him. That she wasn't defective, or unlovable. Yes, she knew Christ should be enough, but sometimes in a cold bed, He wasn't."
Parrish also explores the relationship between Molly and her mother in a way that readers can relate to. For Louise and Molly, it was "Avoid, avoid, avoid. They were so skilled at it . . . Never how do we handle this?, but how can we fold ourselves up small enough so it won't be there anymore?"
An overarching spiritual theme is shown in the way God can bring certain people into our lives, at just the right time, to touch us and help us heal. The Air We Breathe reaches a satisfying conclusion, while leaving the reader with room for imagination. This is a book that I can highly recommend.
Two scenes in this story really stood out to me. The first was when Claire took Molly for a walk to the beach, after years of not venturing outside. Parrish described the walk with such detail that I felt as though I was right there, experiencing both of their emotions.
The second scene was when Beverly, a friend of Claire's, told of an experience she had while hospitalized with a stroke. One night she felt God telling her to sing to the suffering woman in the next bed: "I have no doubt I had that stroke so I could be in that bed, that day, to sing to a woman I'd never met." I'll end with the words of the beautiful hymn that she sang:
'Man of Sorrows,' what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
For more information on Christa Parrish and her books, visit her website at http://www.christaparrish.com/
This book was provided by Bethany House through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

well written novel that will grab you

Date:December 6, 2012
Customer Avatar
bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love when an author grabs my attention and I just have to read one more chapter before I turn out the light. That's what happened with The Air We Breathe.
The narrative alternates between events in 2002 and nearly seven years later. Parrish weaves together the story of two characters.
Hannah was a young girl when she went on Saturday errands with her father, including to the bank. There they witnessed a robbery. Her father was shot and Hannah abducted. While Hannah manages to eventually escape her captivity, she becomes silent.
Claire is a woman who has lost nearly all that was meaningful to her. Her husband has left her. Her children are dead and she knows it was her action that killed them. She battles her thoughts by doing crossword puzzles.
The lives of Claire and Hannah intersect in a neighborhood park and Claire reaches out to the silent girl, thinking perhaps to help. Yet Hannah senses it is Claire who needs the help.
Parrish has created a wonderful novel of pain and healing. She deftly intertwines the lives of Claire and Hannah, even after losing touch for six years. It is amazing how the healing flows from each to the other, even when the process is not always peaceful.
This is a well written book. The character development is superb. Hannah learns about Jesus from Claire while Claire herself struggles with her faith.
A captivating and rewarding novel. Make sure you have a few hours because you won't want to put it down.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Amazing!

Date:November 19, 2012
Customer Avatar
Shelbie Mae
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I had high expectations for this book because WATCH OVER ME is on my list of top 5 books. Well this book went above and beyond my expectations! Its a deep story about the hurts of our past and how they affect us today. How we can find freedom from our scars
Molly is not an average 17 year old girl. In fact she hasn't left the house in four years. She does her schooling online and watches church services online every Sunday morning. She lives in a wax museum in Maine and runs the front desk during tourist season. She might even have a crush on the pizza delivery guy who stops into to say hi more often than delivering a pizza will allow, but she can't bring herself to go outside and face her fears let alone the handsome young man.
One day a woman from Molly's past shows up at the museum and all the painful memories that Molly has only told the wax figures in the museum come to the surface. She has to learn to face the scars that are keeping her in bondage. Because its only my facing the scars that they begin to heal.
This was en excellent book that I would highly recommend. Its fiction but it makes us shine a light into our own lives and maybe dig to find that God has more for us than we allow ourselves to imagine. But not only that it's an endearing story with characters that will follow you for the rest of your life.
5 STARS!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent Book! Worth Reading.

Date:November 18, 2012
Customer Avatar
Rose B
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
From the first page of The Air We Breathe Christa Parrish draws the reader into the lives of two people who are divinely appointed to meet. Molly is a young girl who has been through a horrifying experience. Claire is a mother trying to exist after tragic circumstances has taken her children, and subsequently, her marriage. As the threads of their lives are interwoven by each other and by God, their lives become whole once again, and encouragement, hope and healing become a reality.
For me a great book is one that I do not want to put down, and one that I do not want to end. Christa’s books have that effect on me. I highly recommend The Air We Breathe!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 17 for The Air We Breathe
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Very Compelling Story

Date:November 12, 2012
Customer Avatar
Heather Micaela
Location:California
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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 circumstances they went through. The heart issues are true for most of us in some way or another.
One thing I appreciate about the author is that she is faithful to her beliefs without being preachy. She is real and not afraid to deal with touchy issues. She is even able to show that healing can occur even if you do not get all your questions answered. Because everything does not always fit into a nice theoretical box in real life, it is nice to read about characters who are facing that same reality.
I was a bit sorry to say goodbye to the characters at the end of the book, but I was satisfied with the story as I reluctantly set down the book. I highly reccomend taking a journey with them.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.