Title: Breathing Lessons
Author: Anne Tyler
Publication: Knopf 1988
Rating: 4 stars
Like I said in my last post (that I posted like 3 seconds ago), I read Breathing Lessons during my hiatus from work in all of ONE day. That made me feel like a girl of 13 again– with nothing to do, hungry for that feeling of accomplishment that comes only from reading a whole book in one sitting.
First of all, I traded D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow for it, which is hands-down the most unreadable book I’ve picked up in the last 6 months (I don’t care what my college English professor says about its genius). So, I was already off to a good start. Plus, I enjoyed her book The Accidental Tourist (3.5 stars)–it’s sort of romance-novel-ish.
It was fitting that I read it in one sitting because the book takes place over the course of a day. This married couple goes to a funeral, offends an old friend, tries to get their son and his broken family back together, all the while testing the boundaries of their own relationship.
The conflicting points of view–over things that have happened in the past–leave you wondering what is true. What has been lost to the pliability of memory or what have the characters invented? In the end, you don’t really know what/who to believe. Breathing Lessons is a fast-paced tale of how this family ungracefully collides and doesn’t exactly bounce back unharmed.
I recommend it, especially if you are traveling. I’d give it a solid B.