The Air You Breathe
By Frances De Pontes Peebles
Why this book?
Friendship, romance, betrayal, drama, music, adventures, beauty, and tragedy, this book has it all. It is a magnificent work of history and Latin culture that immediately took me back from my home country, Brazil, and to another time, pre and post WWII. It is the story of two girls with opposite backgrounds, who grew up together and embraced their artistic careers and dreams of becoming music stars. Graca, the samba singer, the main one on the front stage, with her beauty, charisma, and unique voice; and Dores the songwriter, behind the scenes, with her poetry, the lyrics, the rhythm, the passion, and the determination to be a music group leader. She has the stamina to never give up.
This particular book made me fall in love with historical fiction. Rich in details, well researched, and carefully woven, it was hard to separate what was fiction, what was real. As the plot develops and the artists finally reach Hollywood, one can only ask if this is a fictional account of the famous singer and actress Carmen Miranda. But interestingly, it is her almost unknown friend, Dores, who called my attention the most. Her name literally means pains and sufferings, in Portuguese, but she seems so strong, so resilient. Who is this woman who contributed so much to the birth of the Samba, but yet, might not have received the proper recognition in time and history?
When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.