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3.5 5 I haven t read a book about the friendship of two women this absorbing addicting with amazingly stunning writing this good since Elena and Lila in the Neapolitan series by Elena Ferrante Going hiking this morning and a very busy weekend was in SF yesterday and back again tomorrow and must write a review for Bitter Orange , by Claire Fuller one of these days.as it s an alive species screaming it s own language in my head 24 hours a day during my dreams tooand mixed with this gorgeous novel I ve got brain overload.Aahhhhhhhh.but as only readers understand intimatelythe feeling is magnificent More on this book and one of these days Bitter Orange soon Miss my friends here Happy reading The Story Of An Intense Female Friendship Fueled By Affection, Envy And Pride And Each Woman S Fear That She Would Be Nothing Without The OtherSkinny, Nine Year Old Orphaned Dores Is Working In The Kitchen Of A Sugar Plantation In S Brazil When In Walks A Girl Who Changes Everything Gra A, The Spoiled Daughter Of A Wealthy Sugar Baron, Is Clever, Well Fed, Pretty, And Thrillingly Ill Behaved Born To Wildly Different Worlds, Dores And Gra A Quickly Bond Over Shared Mischief, And Then, On A Deeper Level, Over MusicOne Has A Voice Like A Songbird The Other Feels Melodies In Her Soul And Composes Lyrics To Match Music Will Become Their Shared Passion, The Source Of Their Partnership And Their Rivalry, And For Each, The Only Way Out Of The Life To Which Each Was Born But Only One Of The Two Is Destined To Be A Star Their Intimate, Volatile Bond Will Determine Each Of Their Fortunes And Haunt Their MemoriesTraveling From Brazil S Inland Sugar Plantations To The Rowdy Streets Of Lapa In Rio De Janeiro, From Los Angeles During The Golden Age Of Hollywood Back To The Irresistible Drumbeat Of Home, The Air You Breathe Unfurls A Moving Portrait Of A Lifelong Friendship Its Unparalleled Rewards And Lasting Losses And Considers What We Owe To The Relationships That Shape Our Lives 3.5 stars This book will have you humming to the beat of samba music This is the story of Graca and Dores two girls from two different parts of society They have an intense friendship filled with fierce love and ruthless rivalry They need and depend on each other in different ways, both feeling incomplete without the other The story begins on a sugar plantation in Brazil that Graca s family owns I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this part of the story Dores is an orphan who has been adopted by the head of the kitchen help Outspoken, outgoing, spoiled Graca develops an immediate connection and bond with Dores and the two girls forge a unlikely friendship.The girls journey take them through their artistic careers and dreams of becoming samba stars Graca the singer and Dores the songwriter Many characters are introduced along the way, all the while, the samba music a sort of character in itself.While I enjoyed this novel, I did find the story to be somewhat drawn out and riddled with too much detail There were parts I found dragged and felt somewhat repetitive However, I did enjoy learning about this time in history and felt the samba music was such a great background theme.This was a Traveling Sister read We all enjoyed this story and the change of pace from our usual books To find this review, along with the other Traveling Sister reviews, please visit our blog at big thank you to Edelweiss, Riverhead Books and Frances de Pontes Peebles for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review The Air You Breathe is available now This was a beautifully written book I really felt like the author transported me to 1930s Brazil and with such an emphasis on music, the book had a lyrical quality From the get go it was easy to get caught up in nine year old Dores s story line She s an orphan on a sugar plantation and for the most part she is forced to take care of herself She develops an unlikely friendship with Graca, the daughter of the plantation owner The two are complete opposites but develop a bond over their love of music This story was much focused on character development than plot That s not to say nothing goes on in terms of story as the action goes from the plantation, the streets of Rio de Janeiro, and eventually to Hollywood But to me this was a story about friendship than anything It s a complicated friendship as at times it resembles of a frenemy type relationship I read this book a few weeks ago and I still find myself thinking about the two of them Definitely recommend if you are in the mood for something with strong female personalities Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion. Traveling Sisters Group ReadLindsay and I read The Air You Breathe with four of our Traveling Sisters and we all really loved this glorious, rich and soulful story of friendship.We all loved the vivid and colorful feel we got for the setting and lively time Frances de Pontes Peebles takes us through an intense and emotional, journey of a complex bond between friends and their love and ambition for Samba music We follow them through their path to fame We are taken to boozy Brazilian bars to the glamor of Hollywood.Frances de Pontes Peebles does a great job here creating well developed different characters from each other with Dores and Graca The rich characters climbed into our hearts and we could feel their ambition, treachery, loss, excitement and the price they paid for their ambition and fame.We highly recommended this story to lovers of Historical fiction that enjoy a strong bond between friends and their passion for their love of music.Thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Frances de Pontes Peebles for a copy to read and review. 4 sometimes what you think you want is not what you want at all stars We all take for granted things that come too easily.That s why I can t let you go you re always a challenge to me.Here s my wow to you, here s all I believe For you, I ll stay invisible I ll be the air you breathe Is it possible to stay invisible when what you want is exactly what another has The time the 1930sThe place BrazilThe characters Dores and GracaThe tie that bound these girls together music, friendship, rivalry Meet Dores, a poor young child, an orphan living on a sugar plantation forced to be the one who cares for herself, with some help from an old cook Meet Graca, the daughter of the plantation owner Together these two form a most unlikely friendship, a friendship that will carry them through a lifetime of sorrow, joy, and a wish for things that oftentimes are not to be These girls are polar opposites and yet they find meaning within their lives, that meaning coming to them through the gift that music often brings The girls grow, they run away to Rio de Janeiro, where they struggle and yet the music is that ultimate bond which joins them together It is the way they survive, the way their future seems to move, the way they will share the joys and the many sorrows that life will force onto their paths Their journey leads them eventually to Hollywood, the world of movies, of the samba, of the success of Graca who sings and dances her way through movie after movie, while Dores the composer of the songs, remains in the background, longing for recognition Their lives seem to be what they desired, being recognized, being shown that their music their songs are heard and seen and yet it is not ultimately what they thought it would be Their home, their country beckons, calls to them, and soon they realize that perhaps they can never go home again, never find that recognition they always sought, never to have a place to call their own.Their friendship suffers along with their success and though they seem to care, there is jealousy, there is the fear and desire to be what the other is There are the trials that often lead to the downfall of friends and their ability to maintain what had formerly brought them together.This was a story of characters set against a backdrop of the Rio of long ago, the samba with its dance and musical style, and the fight each of these girls, grown to women, engage in to breathe the same air, to find the same level of success, to hold onto identities which seem to shape them into something they never really wanted to be It was a story of struggling to find themselves, of looking at the life they so desired, at seeing the sadness that often accompanies those of us who wish for too much, yet always there was the music For these women and the men who surrounded them, Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life Jean Paul Thanks you to Frances de Pontes Peebles, Riverhead Books, and Edelweiss for a copy of this most engaging story.My reviews can be seen here book was read with The Traveling Sisters group here on Goodreads As always, we had a riveting conversation that added so much to our understanding of this novel Many thanks to you dear sisters Couldn t do it.This is the story of the friendship of two girls One is a skinny little orphan girl, and the other is a daughter of a wealthy sugar baron Their lives come together by chance and they never let their friendship go Even in death.I gave this book over 100 pages before I stopped reading it Although it is well written and very lush in detail, I felt that the storyline is just not for me To me the author seems to drone on and on and never seems to get to the point I found this very irritating and boring to read Music is very much a background in this book You can hear it with almost every word the author writes And while I love that fact again it is the authors incessant attention to detail down to the finer points and the constant drowning on that has turned my head from this book.I m sure others would love to read this book but it is just not for me. samba a Brazilian dance of African origin with a basic pattern of step close step close and characterized by a dip and spring upward at each beat of the music also the music for this dance Merriam Webster dictionary online I felt as if this story was like a samba as it too was characterized by dips and upward springs in the lives of two complex characters as they stepped through their lives, their journey from a sugar cane plantation in Brazil to the streets and clubs of Rio, to Hollywood It s so well written, we are taken there to these places where a complicated friendship grows and flourishes as these two women step together at times and away at others Dores, an orphan with no real identity other than as a kitchen girl becomes the unlikely friend of Graca, born to a family of means who now own the sugar plantation As young girls they discover music when Graca s mother takes them to a concert This is the beginning for them, leading them to their destinies as artists, each in their own right Graca, the singer and Dores, the song writer For me one of the most poignant moments of the book was this discovery As the narrator of this story, Dores tell us How miraculous then to hear something and know, without any doubt, that it is beautiful..How incredible then that, despite the precariousness of my existence, despite the coarseness and violence that always threatened to suffocate me, there was this beauty, this grace, that had found me through music and that no one could take from me This was the gift that music gave to Graca and me that night, and every night afterward we had something of our own to truly love, and we had each other to share it with This is a story of ambition, identity, passion, love, betrayal, a wonderful piece of historical fiction reflecting 1930 s Brazil and Hollywood of the early 1940 s I m not a musician but felt the music This was a Traveling Sisters read Thanks, friends for your thoughts I received an advanced copy of this book from Riverhead Books through Edelweiss. 4.5 Drawn in by the sights and sounds of the 1920 s in Brazil and set againt the background of samba music, this is the story of two young girls, who against all odds become successful Two young women, Dores and Graca, raised in very different circumstances, but become friends, each other s inspiration and eventual downfall Their journey , the people they meet, an amazing story to follow, so much history followed in the time period when they are evolving as musicians and don t writers.The music, incredible lyrics, the descriptions, the emotions, want and need almost viscerally felt by this reader The descriptions of the places, their costumes, a book where I felt as if I was part of their journey, rather than just witnessing their struggles and successes The melancholy tone, felt throughout, the way the story is told by a now elderly Dores, recounting past days, the secrets exposed, the things that were done on the way to Gracas stardom, all drew in this reader Beautifully told, beautifully written An absolutely amazing book Dores is based on the singer songwriter Chevela Vargas and Graca is a mde up character loosely modeled on Carmen Miranda, and her path to fame To these people music was everything, song lyrics are parsed throughout the novel, and music would be what is left.A sisters read that we all seemed to embrace favorably Thanks, ladies.ARC from Edelweiss.