"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
"What a lovely, lovely book." —Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge
"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)
"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."
"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
"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
"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
"An instant classic.... Poliner handles the texture of Jewish family life with brilliance, authenticity, and a touch of wistfulness."
—Jewish Book Council
"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."