The Air We Breathe (book review)

The Air We Breathe, by Christa Parrish

The Air We Breathe

By Christa Parrish

There is great power in a story.  Stories communicate who we are and what is important.  Good stories remind us what it means to be alive.  Great stories inspire us to empathy and motivate us to action.

The Air We Breathe is a great story.  The characters are genuine and three dimensional.  The plot is riveting. The struggles, the hurt, the pain, the loss are all real.

Author Christa Parrish

Author Christa Parrish

Molly never leaves the wax museum where she lives, works, and home schools. Whenever she tries, panic immobilizes her feet as waves of anxiety wash over her.

Claire no longer makes left turns when she drives, not since that terrible day, the accident, her precious ones in the back seat…

Young Hannah’s tranquil world is shattered when she becomes an innocent hostage during a bank robbery.

Where is God in all this tragedy? How can good come from all this pain?

Christa Parrish masterfully weaves together these tragic and seemingly unrelated stories into a beautiful tapestry of hope and healing.



This is no “easy answers” book. The author looks as evil full in the face and does not shirk from its reality. The reader comes away with hope for life and an increased empathy for the hurting all around. The source of that hope is clear. The author’s Christianity illuminates every page, not in a preachy manner, but in a down to earth, life impacting way.

It is a pleasure to ready authors that write with local color, especially when the locality is your own. The author lives near me, so I recognized and instantly connected with details such as grabbing an ice cream cone at Stewarts.

Since the author has visited my church in the past, I also have a sneaking suspicion that she modeled the church in her story after my church’s former building:

  • She called it New Life Christian (mine is New Hope Community Church).
  • It was a red brick building, a former insurance agency (check, and check).
  • New Hope Community Church, Queensbury, NYDead-on description of the auditorium:  “a large room with padded seats instead of benches, plain walls, and two fake trees in the corners up front.  Someone had strung white Christmas lights through them, and the shiny, too-green leaves mirrored the glow…coffee brewing on the table in the lobby.”
  • Dead-on description of my pastor:  “he wore normal clothes and brushed his hair forward so the ends became his bangs.”


5 stars

5 out of 5 genuine, hurting people


Christa Parrish is an award-winning author of three novels. Her debut, Home Another Way (Bethany House, 2008) was a finalist for the ECPA Fiction Book of the Year. Her second novel, Watch Over Me, won the ECPA Fiction Book of the Year and the ForeWord Reviews bronze medal for religious fiction. Her long-awaited third novel, The Air We Breathe (Bethany House, 2012) has already been named a finalist for the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award.

“When not writing, Christa is creative director of the modern contemporary worship service at her church and co-director of the youth group. She also produces a weekly radio show, helps facilitate DivorceCare and DC4K, chauffeurs her Grand Champion blue belt to and from Taekwondo clases, and chases a toddler. She and her husband, author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, have three children in their blended family: Gray (18), Jacob (11), and Claire (2).”


I was given a complimentary copy of this book to review on NoEndToBooks by Bethany House publishers.



Let’s start a hall of fame:  name one person (friend or relative) in your life who has stuck by you through every trial you have faced.P5SR2HFKHE2F


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