Invisible As Air: Reviews

“Zoe Fishman’s characters are as vibrant and alive as your dearest friends. Invisible as Air introduces us to a family on the edge of a cliff, teetering over with their grief and need. With psychological acuity, Fishman cracks open the family and takes us to the place where there is beauty in brokenness, where there is light in the dark, and where we can find intimacy in our honesty. I fell in love with each character as they searched for meaning and connection. From the first stunning choice to the last, I could not put this novel down.”–Patti Callahan Henry, USA Today and New York Times Bestselling novelist of Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Zoe Fishman is a gifted writer; her characters are so alive they seem to breathe. INVISIBLE AS AIR poignantly reveals a family on the point of fracture, each looking for escape, each isolated, each desperate to connect. Though it speaks to one of the most difficult issues facing our nation with wisdom and deep grace, this is not an “issue” book. This is a book about people, flawed but striving, broken but hopeful.  Once I started, I couldn’t put it down.”—Joshilyn Jackson USA TODAY and New York Times bestselling author of Never Have I Ever

Zoe Fishman writes with tenderness and urgency, with an ear attuned to all the silences, secrets, and strain that frequently capsize modern family life. Invisible as Air is a memorable and compelling read about slipping into darkness and trying to find the light.”   –Kristen Iskandrian, author of Motherest

“Fishman offers a vivid and visceral portrayal of a grieving family as it faces the same loss in profoundly different ways. Invisible As Air explores trauma’s destructive impulses and, ultimately, what it takes to rebuild our lives in the aftermath. It examines the loneliness of grief and also the transformative ways it can bring us together.” — Gabrielle Birkner, co-author, Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome

“The characters in Invisible as Air are so real; so flawed; so compelling and vulnerable. With her trademark wit and honesty, even in the face of sorrow, Fishman will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget.”– Greer Hendricks, #1 New York Times Bestselling coauthor of An Anonymous Girl

“Sylvie Snow is struggling, though it isn’t apparent from the outside. She has a great career, a triathlete husband, and a fun and quirky son growing up way too quickly—wasn’t it just yesterday he was a toddler? How is it already time to plan his bar mitzvah? Everything is strained for Sylvie, though. She can barely stand it when her husband breaks his ankle and relies on her for every. tiny. thing. She’s disconnected from her family and friends, especially in these last three years since the stillbirth of daughter Delilah. On the anniversary of Delilah’s death, facing another day of playing nursemaid to an increasingly cranky Paul, Sylvie decides to try just one of the hydrocodone pills he was prescribed. He refuses to take any; it won’t be missed, and she’s familiar with the “hillbilly heroin” stories. She is certain she won’t become addicted, but soon Sylvie finds that she’s a better person on the pills: nicer, happier, a better mom and wife. And she needs the pills to be the person she likes. VERDICT A fast-paced, compelling read, Fishman’s latest (after Inheriting Edith) is an excellent choice for book clubs and recommended for fans of Jodi Picoult.” — Starred Library Journal Review

“If you’ve never understood what opiates can do to some people, here’s a good explanation. Sylvie Snow is a typical mother and wife with a job, trying to do all the tasks that are expected of her. And for her, underneath all the daily problems, is the unresolved sadness of losing a still-born daughter three years earlier. She takes one small white pill from her husband Paul’s prescription—he’s laid up with a broken ankle and doesn’t like how they make him feel—and the effect is immediate and wonderful. Suddenly, she is able to handle everything with a smile: the stress of a bar mitzvah for her son Teddy, Paul’s whine from the couch, and even the loss of her job. She promises herself that these pills are temporary fixes.

Along with the excellent writing that makes the reader want to find out what happens, in a way, this novel is an object lesson to all us, that even with the best of intentions of only using the pills for a limited time, one can become addicted. It also comes with the realization that the other members of a family and even strangers want to help in times of need.

A very real story that has the reader wanting Sylvie to find a solution to her problem, and yet it is also a cautionary tale for our time with all its emphasis on quick fixes from doctors and medicines.” – 2020 Georgia Author of the Year: Literary Fiction Winner

“Fishman (Inheriting Edith, 2016) brings her signature style to a timely topic, illustrating the opioid epidemic in a realistic setting and allowing Sylvie’s choices to speak for themselves. Largely narrated by Sylvie, with interjections from Paul and Teddy, Invisible as Air takes readers on a raw and wild ride. Fans of Liane Moriarty and Jessica Levine especially should take note.” — Stephanie Turza, Starred Booklist Review

“Sylvie Snow is a wife and mother bearing the financial and domestic load for her family all while reeling from the stillborn death of her daughter, Delilah, three years ago. The novel opens as Sylvie is taking care of her recently injured husband Paul. Their sensitive son Teddy is having a hard time connecting to others—both peers and his parents, who are forever changed by their devastating loss. On the anniversary of her daughter’s death, and feeling completely overwhelmed with both her husband’s care and planning her reluctant son’s Bar Mitzvah, Sylvie takes one of her husband’s discarded pain pills and is surprised by how much lighter and more manageable both her grief and her life seem. As Sylvie’s addiction spirals out of control she begins to do things that threaten her family in unimaginable ways and that will reverberate for the rest of their lives. Invisible as Air is a compassionately told and beautifully written story of a family in crisis, one that lingers with the reader long after the last page is read.” –Kate Whitman, Atlanta History Center

Fishman’s effec­tive sto­ry­telling demon­strates the strength and also the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of fam­i­ly. Apart, Sylvie, Paul, and Ted­dy were unrav­el­ing each in his or her own way. Yet, when final­ly forced to come togeth­er on the same island where tragedy struck years pri­or, the Snow fam­i­ly real­izes that their shared trau­ma is what will keep their fam­i­ly afloat.” — Anas­ta­sia Shy­manovich, Jewish Book Council

“Persisting through unimaginable grief, Fishman has succeeded in publishing a deeply substantive novel that, despite being filled with heartbreaking moments, manages to impart with the reader a sense of connection and resilience. Her writing creeps up on you, like a crescent moon that seems to mysteriously switch sides in the night sky during a drive down a winding highway — taunting, unsettling, beautiful.” –Becca Godwin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

One of The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “12 Southern Books to Curl Up With” – September 22. 2019

One of Deep South Magazine’s Best Of Fall/Winter 2019-20

“Fishman’s lively prose, punctuated with volleys of incisive wit and mouthy irreverence, propels the story. This convincing portrayal of a struggling family will captivate readers.” – Publishers Weekly

One of the 10 Southern Books We Loved in 2019 – Atlanta Journal Constitution

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