All human beings like to believe that they are in control of their fates. However, everyone is born into certain facts that can’t be altered: their natural family, their genetic heritage, their birthdate. Drawing Breath, Laurie Boris’s second novel, is a rich, character-driven story about those fixed details.
Caitlin, a sixteen-year-old budding artist, is taken under the wing of the talented Daniel, who happens to live on the second floor of the home where Caitlin grew up. Daniel, who supports himself as an art teacher, has cystic fibrosis. He has already survived longer than many people with this genetic disease. Not surprisingly, Caitlin develops a crush on him that eventually leads her to make one very bad decision.
This is one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve read this year. The prose flows along smoothly, and Boris’s understanding of the subtlety of language shines through. Her main characters are lovingly drawn and perfectly fleshed out, as is to be expected. But the brushstrokes with which she paints the lesser characters are even more impressive. There are no cardboard cutouts in this book.
If you want to remember what your first crush felt like, read this book immediately. Even if you don’t, read it anyway. Laurie Boris is a writer to remember.