cover image Invisible as Air

Invisible as Air

Zoe Fishman. Morrow, $15.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-283823-0

Fishman’s affecting latest (after Inheriting Edith) tracks the impact of opioid addiction on a grieving family in an Atlanta suburb. Sylvie Snow, 46; her triathlete husband, Paul; and 12-year-old-son, Teddy, mourn stillborn Delilah. On the third anniversary of Delilah’s death, Sylvie tries one of Paul’s Oxycodone pills, which a doctor prescribed for his broken ankle, but he never took. Sylvie discovers a more confident, seemingly capable version of herself, and finally commemorates Delilah’s death by lighting a yahrzeit candle. Noticing the change in Sylvie, Paul regrets the glut of workout gear bought to fill the void he felt from her distance and the loss of their daughter. Meanwhile, Teddy overcomes his escapist habit of watching movies alone after his girlfriend encourages him to host a movie night at a retirement home for his bar mitzvah project. After Sylvie speeds through Paul’s prescription and a refill, she resorts to drastic measures to acquire more pills, stealing them from a co-worker and sleeping with Paul’s best friend, and the family’s burst of renewal dims. Fishman’s lively prose, punctuated with volleys of incisive wit and mouthy irreverence, propels the gloomy story. This convincing portrayal of a struggling family will captivate readers. (Sept.)