Genre : Contemporary fiction
Author : Laurie Boris
Author Website : http://www.amazon.com/Laurie-Boris/e/B005I551QA
Booktrailer link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzyxWnW2ZtY
Goodreads Author Page : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4824645.Laurie_Boris
Amazon Store : http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Breath-Laurie-Boris/dp/1475270232
Print ISBN: 978-1475270235
Digital ASIN: B007XYOKV6
Reviews : Multiple 4.5-5 stars (23 in Amazon, 30 in Goodreads)
Blurb : Art teacher Daniel Benedetto has been renting Maureen Kelly’s upstairs apartment for the last six years. Even though he has cystic fibrosis, a chronic disease that requires a lot of maintenance and the occasional hospital stay, he has always made time for his students, his own art, and Maureen’s daughter, Caitlin. Now that she’s a budding teen painter, he makes space for her in his Life Drawing class. But failing miserably and intimidated by the class full of adults, Caitlin appeals to Daniel for private lessons.
Maureen reluctantly agrees, with a warning for Caitlin to take what he offers seriously, because Daniel, at thirty-four, is living on borrowed time. While great strides are being made to find a cure for the genetically transmitted disease, when Daniel was born, children with CF rarely survived past their teens. Caitlin, however, refuses to define Daniel by his disease. He’s a person first, a friend who understands her, a fellow artist. Unlike his overprotective, overbearing sister, who does his grocery shopping and frets over his every move, Caitlin doesn’t see Daniel as someone to pity or take care of but someone to care for.
As she spends more time with Daniel, her feelings for him grow more complicated and confusing. Seeing glimpses of his private life, she can only watch in torment as other people, especially women, treat Daniel like a freak because of his condition. Convinced one of those women is about to hurt him, Caitlin makes one very bad decision.
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Sample Amazon Reviews
Saving the pivot on which the novel turns--the morally complex act of an infatuated teenage girl unmindful of more serious consequences--for a full two-thirds of the way in is a stroke of genius. We are treated to the slow buildup of characters as if they've been painted by the main protagonists themselves, revealing new facets as the light changes and layers are added. A gentle creative art teacher with a serious illness.
Cryptic as all this sounds, my aim is not to spoil the gentle spell of this courageous novel by over describing plot details. At heart, this is a love story. There are elements of an eternal love triangle, aspects of betrayal, dalliances with something darker, but the overall sense left with this reader was of something incredibly emotional and generous in spirit. I recommend this book very highly to anyone who appreciates a well-wrought plot told in a literary style that nonetheless refuses to revel in its own considerable artistry.
Four and a half stars (as close to five as anything I've read in years).
Because of an illness Daniel Benedetto has become known as more than just a gifted man. For some he is to be pitied. Not the case of Caitlin Kelly. She sees and loves him for not what he has but what he brings to the world and does for her personally. It is in this conflict of emotions and taboos that Boris leads the reader, and we are able to see exactly what it means to live and what brings about real life.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was the way the author allowed the arts to weave a story that is so much like all of our own. Each day is a blank canvas for us to paint the next chapter of our lives. We can choose whether we will stifle ourselves or allow all that we are to shine through.
Enchanting yet with lessons that are true to life, DRAWING BREATH by Laurie Boris reminds us to appreciate all that life has to offer.