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Friday, December 20, 2019

Hard-Hitting Family Drama Highlights Dangers of Opioid Abuse

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Still grieving the loss of her stillborn daughter, 46-year-old Sylvie Snow keeps her sadness at bay by staying busy.  Very busy.  She scurries around making meals, cleaning messes, chauffeuring her son to and fro, working full-time, and lately, playing nursemaid to her needy husband as he recovers from a broken ankle he sustained while on a rigorous bike ride he never should have attempted.  Add to her already overloaded schedule the planning of her son's upcoming bar mitzvah—the one he cares zilch about—and she's about ready to explode.  When the three-year anniversary of her daughter's death dawns, Sylvie realizes she just can't handle another day of her frenzied life.  Not without some help.

Paul Snow refuses to take the Hydrocodone his doctor prescribed for his ankle.  Sylvie's in pain, too, so she decides to pop one of his pills, just to see.  The results are almost instant.  Her sadness blurs a little; she feels kinder, more patient, calmer.  Amazing!  Before she realizes it, Sylvie has become a bona fide junkie, willing to do anything—risk everything—for another hit.  The more desperate she gets, however, the more her life really starts to fall apart.  Soon, the truth will out and Sylvie must face some startling truths about herself before she loses everything that means anything to her.

With opioid abuse constantly in the news, Invisible As Air by Zoe Fishman, is a timely, affecting novel about the holes in our hearts and the alarming ways in which we sometimes try to fill them.  Sylvie is a relatable Everywoman whose utter normality makes a hard-hitting statement about just what a junkie looks like these days.  With his own "harmless" coping mechanism wreaking havoc on the family, Paul's is an additional cautionary tale about the destructive nature of burying feelings, hiding pain, and seeking help in all the wrong ways and places.  Stuck in the middle, Teddy represents all the innocents damaged by people trying to get by instead of getting real.  As you can tell, Invisible As Air is not a happy read.  It's heartbreaking, eye-opening, and depressing.  Compelling and ultimately hopeful, yes, but also not the most uplifting or mood-boosting read in the world.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of Heroine by Mindy McGinnis)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, sexual content, and depictions of prescription drug abuse

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Invisible As Air from the generous folks at HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


  1. This sounds like a very timely story, but also heartbreaking. Not sure if this is for me or not, but wonderful review.

  2. There are more and more opioid-based books coming out and I think it's important.


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