No, this is not a self-help book.
Learning to Breathe by Karen White is the story of Brenna and Pierce, but also the story of their parents.
Brenna runs a theater in her hometown and collects old letters, yet never opens them to read what’s inside. She prefers to live her life in the realm of safe and avoids anything that might cause her pain and heartache.
Pierce is her ex-boyfriend, though few people know it. When he comes back in town to care for his ailing father, the pair are confronted with how their past relationship ended and the years of silence that have passed.
After a packet of undelivered letters addressed to Pierce’s father surfaces, he asks Brenna to read them to him. The story those letters tell is a story that parallels in many ways the reality Brenna and Pierce lived, but neither of them know just how much.
White’s writing is absolutely beautiful. I really enjoyed Sea Change and I was hoping this book would be just as good. Despite some predictable plot points, Learning to Breathe was worth the read.
The lyricism in White’s words and the letters she crafts are worth reading. The characters feelings are felt by the reader in their heart and soul.
Learning to Breathe was a great pallet cleanser and helped rekindle my desire to devour books. I’ve been so busy the last two months that I haven’t had as much time to read and I’ve felt overwhelmed with the prospect of my to-read list. But White’s work helped remind me of the power words can have to transform the reader.
I’m ready to dive back into my to-read list with a vengeance now. What are you reading this fall?