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 other. Traveling from Brazil's inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Rio de Janeiro's famous Lapa neighborhood, 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.
A sweeping, cinematic and thoroughly engrossing tale about an enduring friendship and the story of samba, is a mighty accomplishment—the kind of novel that demands ample time to write ... A sense of melancholy imbues the tale, but [the protagonist] has a compelling and fascinating voice... her strength and singularity propel this unforgettable novel.
An absolute masterpiece ... Peebles is a master at sustaining dramatic tension, a wizard with intrigue and language, and a skilled curator of intimacy. She knows when to give context... and when to allow a thing to be a thing ... Even more challenging is the ability to be able to create unapologetic antiheroes, which Peebles excels at ... The tension created by these elements—the sociopolitical context, the drama of interpersonal relationships and queerness, and the high-stakes nature of subsisting off art—make a masterful book, sure to enthrall from beginning to end.
A soaring fusion of emotion, intense drama, and the compelling rhythms of Brazilian music, The Air You Breathe belongs to the special category of historical novels that chronicle entire lives – and it does so in enthralling fashion ... an intoxicating performance itself, not to be missed by anyone wanting to be wrapped up in a well-told story.