As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner audiobook

As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel

By Elizabeth Poliner
Read by Janet Metzger

Little, Brown & Company 9780316384148
12.15 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • Regular Price: $25.98

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    ISBN: 9781478905301

A multigenerational family saga about the long-lasting reverberations of one tragic summer by "a wonderful talent [who] should be read widely" (Edward P. Jones). In 1948, a small stretch of the Woodmont, Connecticut shoreline, affectionately named "Bagel Beach," has long been a summer destination for Jewish families. Here sisters Ada, Vivie, and Bec assemble at their beloved family cottage, with children in tow and weekend-only husbands who arrive each Friday in time for the Sabbath meal. During the weekdays, freedom reigns. Ada, the family beauty, relaxes and grows more playful, unimpeded by her rule-driven, religious husband. Vivie, once terribly wronged by her sister, is now the family diplomat and an increasingly inventive chef. Unmarried Bec finds herself forced to choose between the family-centric life she's always known and a passion-filled life with the married man with whom she's had a secret years-long affair. But when a terrible accident occurs on the sisters' watch, a summer of hope and self-discovery transforms into a lifetime of atonement and loss for members of this close-knit clan. Seen through the eyes of Molly, who was twelve years old when she witnessed the accident, this is the story of a tragedy and its aftermath, of expanding lives painfully collapsed. Can Molly, decades after the event, draw from her aunt Bec's hard-won wisdom and free herself from the burden that destroyed so many others? Elizabeth Poliner is a masterful storyteller, a brilliant observer of human nature, and in As Close to Us as Breathing she has created an unforgettable meditation on grief, guilt, and the boundaries of identity and love.

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Summary

Summary

A 2016 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize Long List Selection

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for Best Books of March 2016

A multigenerational family saga about the long-lasting reverberations of one tragic summer by "a wonderful talent [who] should be read widely" (Edward P. Jones).

In 1948, a small stretch of the Woodmont, Connecticut shoreline, affectionately named "Bagel Beach," has long been a summer destination for Jewish families. Here sisters Ada, Vivie, and Bec assemble at their beloved family cottage, with children in tow and weekend-only husbands who arrive each Friday in time for the Sabbath meal.

During the weekdays, freedom reigns. Ada, the family beauty, relaxes and grows more playful, unimpeded by her rule-driven, religious husband. Vivie, once terribly wronged by her sister, is now the family diplomat and an increasingly inventive chef. Unmarried Bec finds herself forced to choose between the family-centric life she's always known and a passion-filled life with the married man with whom she's had a secret years-long affair.

But when a terrible accident occurs on the sisters' watch, a summer of hope and self-discovery transforms into a lifetime of atonement and loss for members of this close-knit clan. Seen through the eyes of Molly, who was twelve years old when she witnessed the accident, this is the story of a tragedy and its aftermath, of expanding lives painfully collapsed. Can Molly, decades after the event, draw from her aunt Bec's hard-won wisdom and free herself from the burden that destroyed so many others?

Elizabeth Poliner is a masterful storyteller, a brilliant observer of human nature, and in As Close to Us as Breathing she has created an unforgettable meditation on grief, guilt, and the boundaries of identity and love.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

An instant classic.... Poliner handles the texture of Jewish family life with brilliance, authenticity, and a touch of wistfulness. Jewish Book Council
What a lovely, lovely book. Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge
If summer, for you, recalls days spent by the seashore, Poliner's saga of three Jewish sisters and the beachfront cottage they share with their families--until life-altering tragedy strikes--will enthrall you. O, the Oprah Magazine
Poliner depicts each character with sensitivity and insight...Beautifully written, stringently unsentimental, and yet tender in its empathy for the perennial human conflict between service and self. Kirkus (Starred Review)
Beautiful.... A nuanced, intricate family drama that explores their tight culture at a turning point.... [It's] the kind of novel you sink into blissfully. It casts a spell.... [Poliner's] characters seem so real, so multi-dimensional, so sympathetic even when they mess up that you have to shake yourself back to the present each time you put down the book.... As Close to Us As Breathing is a marvel of artful storytelling. NPR.org
Poliner's novel is an exquisitely written investigation of grief and atonement, and an elegy for a Jewish family bound together by tradition and tribe. Publishers Weekly
Superb...As Close to Us as Breathing is a beautiful, complex, character-driven novel. In the author's capable hands, every one of Poliner's characters feels real. And, just as in reality, some of them succumb to life's challenging circumstances. And, just as in reality, some of them succumb to life's challenging circumstances. And some of them ultimately soar. Jerusalem Post
Vivid, complex, and beautifully written, Elizabeth Poliner's novel, As Close to Us as Breathing, brims with characters who leave an indelible impression on the mind and heart. This moving story of the way one unforgettable family struggles with love and loss shows an uncommon depth of human understanding. Elizabeth Poliner is a wonderful talent and she should be read widely, and again and again. Edward P. Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Known World
Resonant, sensitively observed...Poliner has a keen eye for the awkwardness and sudden leaping insights of adolescents on the brink of adulthood....Poliner also deserves kudos for the warm, particularized light in which she dresses her many characters. As Close to Us as Breathing is a big-hearted roundelay of a novel that, among other things, performs the invaluable service of recovering a lost world. New York Times Book Review
“Brims with characters who leave an indelible impression on the mind and heart.” Edward P. Jones, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
“If summer, for you, recalls days spent by the seashore, Poliner’s saga…will enthrall you.” O, The Oprah Magazine
“An effective chronicler of that fraught interspace where ancient Jewish custom butts up against the shiny modernity of American life…Poliner also deserves kudos for the warm, particularized light in which she dresses her many characters.” New York Times Book Review
“Like the late Harper Lee’s masterpiece, As Cose to Us as Breathing revolves around the events of one summer, is told from the point of view of a pre-adolescent girl, and shows how a single terrible event forever changes her, her family, and her community….Full of characters who are at once typical and original and whose story of faith, guilt, and family is timeless.” Amazon.com
“The kind of novel you sink into blissfully. It casts a spell…[Poliner’s] characters seem so real, so multidimensional, so sympathetic…A marvel of artful storytelling.” NPR.org
“An instant classic…Poliner handles the texture of Jewish family life with brilliance, authenticity, and a touch of wistfulness.” Jewish Book Council
“Poliner depicts each character with sensitivity and insight…Beautifully written, stringently unsentimental, and yet tender in its empathy for the perennial human conflict between service and self.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Janet Metzger masterfully narrates Poliner’s captivating, nuanced story of a tragedy that strikes at the heart of a close-knit Jewish family. Metzger adopts the perfect tone of reflective meditation…Handling the dual challenges of voicing multiple characters and keeping the fragmented time lines distinct, Metzger invites listeners into a sun-soaked world of ocean breezes and populated summer cottages to consider the deep pull that family exerts on our lives. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Elizabeth Poliner

Author Bio: Elizabeth Poliner

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 12.15
Audience: Adult
Language: English