‘Invisible As Air’ Takes A Hard Look At Opioid Addiction [REVIEW]

Woman looking at meadow

A desperate housewife learns to deal with life her own way. (Photo courtesy Canva)

A loving mother. A painful memory. A little cheat. Will her method of dealing with the past be her saving grace or become her private hell? Find out in Zoe Fishman’s insightful new drama, Invisible As Air. 


William Morrow

Sylvie Snow is the kind of woman Patti LuPone sang about in Stephen Sondheim’s song, “The Ladies Who Lunch.” (Don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the video below.) She seems to have it all, including a successful career, a handsome husband, and a great son. Her house and car are the envy of her neighbors. And somehow, she manages to juggle everything with grace, from household chores and grocery shopping to being the PTA mom who leaves everyone asking, “How does she do it?” On top of it all, now she’s planning her son’s bar mitzvah, something young Teddy couldn’t care less about. 

But the truth behind the facade, however, is that Sylvie is truly a desperate housewife. For the past three years, she’s buried the grief over her stillborn daughter, Delilah, that secretly ravages her. If you think this all sounds like enough to break an ordinary woman, you’re probably right. That’s why finally, on the anniversary of her daughter’s death, the weight of it all crashes down on Sylvie and she just can’t take one… more… step. She needs something to get her through, and that’s when she eyes the very thing that could give her the boost she needs.

Since her husband Paul broke his ankle, he’s had a prescription for oxycodone to help him manage his pain, but which he has never taken. If the pills could help him, surely they couldn’t do her any harm, could they? So she borrows one, and after she swallows it down she finds that she feels human again, as if she can still keep all her balls in the air. Certainly, there’s no harm in using the pills to pull her through a tough time, right? But the flaws in her precarious juggling act begin to show through as her desperation increases, enough so that Teddy and Paul take notice. With the bar mitzvah drawing closer, all of them will have to decide how to navigate the future and fill the dark places of their hearts, together and alone.

In Invisible As Air, Fishman has thrown open the doors and invited us inside an upper middle class home to reveal what it means to deal with a very real, very widespread problem that plagues families everywhere: opioid addiction. Having watched friends  battle this demon in their personal lives, I must say that she does a remarkable job bringing this problem to vivid life. Using three alternating but persuasive narrators (Sylvie, Paul, and Teddy), Fishman demonstrates how a reliance on prescription pain meds can rip a family apart, one small cut at a time, until nothing is left but tatters.

Although Sylvie and Paul aren’t really people I would care to spend much time with in my day-to-day life, they do represent very real, typical neighbors we can all recognize. Teddy, on the other hand, is young boy who is wise beyond his years and who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. His is the voice that sticks with me long after the last page is turned, and he allows us to see how the death of his sister and his mother’s addiction have brought increased trauma into his life. As such, it left this reader simply wanting to give him a hug.

If you enjoy topical novels that aren’t afraid to take a long, hard look at the startling realities and dilemmas infesting suburban homes today, this is a book that you won’t want to miss. Invisible As Air will wake you up, make you think, and break your heart.

Add to Goodreads badge

Zoe Fishman

Zoe Fishman


Zoe Fishman is the bestselling author of Inheriting EdithDriving LessonsSaving Ruthand Balancing Acts. She’s the recipient of myriad awards, including a New York Post Pick. She’s been profiled in Publisher’s Weekly and the Huffington Post, among others. Her writing has been published in the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution as part of its moving “Personal Journey” series.

Zoe worked in the New York publishing industry for 13 years. She was recently the visiting writer at SCAD Atlanta and currently teaches at Emory Continuing Education and the Decatur Writers Studio, at which she is also the executive director.

To find out more about the author, visit her at her home on the Web at ZoeFishman.net, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

By Zoe Fishman
416 pp. William Morrow. $15.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase Invisible As Air at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, HarperCollins, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

Invisible As Air is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to ‘Invisible As Air’ Takes A Hard Look At Opioid Addiction [REVIEW]

  1. Sara Strand says:

    I agree, I just wanted to hug Teddy at the end. I loved this book but Teddy is the character that sticks with me. Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. Pingback: Zoe Fishman, author of Invisible as Air, on tour September/October 2019 | TLC Book Tours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: