I finished Breathing Lessons this week, after what seemed like an eternity. I know I must be right smack in the middle of the demographic for which this book was written: female, fifty-something, and married for practically my whole life. So I expected to love it. I don't have to have an action-packed suspense novel full of plot twists and turns...after all, I have adored the other two Anne Tyler books I've read (Back When We Were Grownups, Digging to America) and they weren't exactly full of nail-biting drama. But I suppose this one shows me where my line of tolerance is for watching paint dry. In my book, Breathing Lessons is insufferably boring, irritating, and pointless. I came away feeling empty and cheated. I actually wasted an Audible.com credit on this thing!
I will leave room here for the possibility that, listening to the audio version, my sense of the book might have been affected by one of the worst narrators I've ever heard (Alexandra O'Karma). I honestly thought about ditching the whole thing thirty minutes in, but it became sort of a game with myself to see if I could stick it out. And as I think I said before, I was slightly attached to the thought that it had to get better, else why would it have been a Pulitzer darling?
It didn't. It was a yawner from start to finish. The only lessons I needed were in how to stay awake...the breathing took care of itself.
My advice: Skip it.