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Drawing Breath [Kindle Edition]

Laurie Boris
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.29
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Book Description

Art teacher Daniel Benedetto has cystic fibrosis. At thirty-four, he's already outlived his doctor's "expiration date," but that doesn't stop him from giving all he can to his students and his work. When he takes on Caitlin, his landlady's daughter, as a private student, the budding teen painter watches in torment as other people, especially women, treat Daniel like a freak because of his condition. To Caitlin, Daniel is not a disease, not someone to pity or take care of but someone to care for, a friend, and her first real crush. Convinced one of those women is about to hurt him, Caitlin makes one very bad decision.

Editorial Reviews


"...well-drawn, dimensional characters. This empathetic novel covers local turf from the Poughkeepsie station to Albany Med, and deserves a far wider audience." -Chronogram Magazine,  July 2012
"Compassion, pity, kindness, whatever term it takes, some people are drawn to it, no matter the consequences. Pushing the bonds of what is accepted, Drawing Breath is an intriguing story of disease, compassion, and taboo." - Midwest Book Review

From the Author

I didn't know much about cystic fibrosis until I met Bill Fiscaletti. He attended the same high school as my husband. The two were introduced through their art teacher and became friends. When I came on the scene a few years later, Bill was a pretty brilliant painter and actively involved with community theater. We'd come to his plays and meet afterward for dinner. When he talked about CF it was mainly to rage about medical funding and why AIDS got all the research money when there were more kids dying from CF. Otherwise, he treated it as a fact of his life. Sometimes he had to go for treatments, sometimes he got sick, and my husband visited him in the hospital. Sure, he coughed, but after a while you just got used to it, waited until he was done, and continued the conversation. Bill was just Bill, not a guy with a disease.
   Yet without having known Bill, I might have never written Drawing Breath. Heck, he's one of the reasons I finished my first book and kept going. He was one of my heroes, although I never told him. If I had, he probably would have laughed and changed the subject. He believed in doing art, not talking about art, and he didn't consider himself a hero. Despite having cystic fibrosis and being in pretty rough shape at times, he just went about his business, did his breathing therapy, took his medication, and poured his passion into the activities and people he loved, even though he was already way past his "expiration date."
   We silly humans can put blinders on when looking at people with horrible chronic diseases. As if they're saints or something. Bill was flawed, like all of us. Human, like all of us. He could have a temper, especially when he sensed he was being humored or pitied. He blew deadlines. He spaced on details, which led to sometimes sad and sometimes comical results. For reasons I could never fathom even though he explained it to me (patiently) dozens of times, he was a big fan of professional boxing and especially Muhammad Ali. He could be frustrating, but he could also be sweet and thoughtful and kind, often when you least expected it. As far as I knew, he never had a real girlfriend, and that made me horribly sad, because he had so much to give and was so infinitely lovable. Maybe that's also one of the reasons I wrote this book. But muses work in funny ways. As the character of Daniel became less Bill and more Daniel, the love I wanted to give him became more complicated, more demanding, more human.
   This book is dedicated to Bill, although he'd probably tell me to stop talking about him and get back to work. So I do. I put my head down and write another novel, and another, and another.

Product Details

  • File Size: 374 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475270232
  • Publisher: Laurie Boris (November 18, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007XYOKV6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,832 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drawing Breath by Laurie Boris May 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Daniel is in his mid-thirties. A school teacher by profession an artist by talent and desire and a man who happens to have Cystic Fibrosis. He lives alone in an apartment where he is protective of his privacy. Less concerned about his privacy and more concerned about his health his sister visits often. Her love apparent but sometimes stifling, she tries to push and prod him to take better care of himself.

Caitlin is a teenaged girl with a budding artistic talent which Daniel helps to foster. Hiding an adolescent crush on him she tries to learn the basics of fine art while she worships the object of her first love. Imagining herself an important famous artist with Daniel by her side she lives in the world of first crush that only a very young woman can.

Well written with a keen eye to detail and finely drawn characters Mrs. Boris draws the reader into the story with finesse' and skill. She includes the back stories at just the right moment giving us only the amount of information necessary. The dialogue is realistic and moves the story forward without wasted conversation or explanation.

I enjoyed this novel and was impressed with the way the author handled the very real depiction of a person who is suffering from a life threatening disease. While she elicits our sympathy she does not become overly maudlin, nor does she manipulate the reader.

I recommend this book highly.

Karen Bryant Doering,
Parent's Little Black Book
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully spun story April 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book and honestly, it blew me away. I am not a big fan of romance stories as a rule, but there was something incredibly special about this one. Drawing Breath tells the story of Daniel, a thirty-something artist who suffers from the debilitating disease of Cystic Fibrosis and Caitlin, his teenage neighbor who falls in love with him. Daniel struggles with what many people with chronic illness do,not wanting to be defined by his illness. He wants to be Daniel, the artist, Daniel the man. Instead, with an over-bearing sister who treats him like a child, and a self-serving girlfriend who sees him as someone she can take care of, Daniel is caught in a web of condescending women, none, with the exception of Caitlin, see him as anything but Daniel, the guy with Cystic Fibrosis. Caitlin loves him with the passion that only a girl with her first real love can, and sees Daniel as he truly wants to be seen, as a man, as an artist. This well-written and thought-provoking story will appeal to a wide range of readers, anyone who fondly remembers how it feels to fall in love for the first time, to anyone who has ever struggled to overcome how they are perceived by others, to become the people they are supposed to be. I highly recommend this title. I could not put it down.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Just wow. April 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Drawing Breath, the second novel by talented wordsmith Laurie Boris, is an achingly beautiful story of friendship and growing pains, and ultimately, of love - specifically the lengths a girl on the cusp of womanhood is willing to go to prove her love and fix a terrible mistake she's made before it's too late. Vivid, realistic characters in all-too-real situations drew me in, while the even pace held me in a firm yet tender grip all the way to the end. It got me in the guts and left me breathless.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sublime July 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Drawing Breath is a book for grown ups. It is compassionate, non-judgmental, deftly and succinctly written, with nothing extraneous or ostentatious. It tells a relatively simple yet psychologically astute tale of how love can sometimes prove not quite enough. Or does it? In the world of Laurie Boris's novel, unkindness and mean-spiritedness can sometimes blossom into generosity, illuminating a grey-area world with sudden stark flashes of brightness, empathy and tenderness.

Saving the pivot on which the novel turns--the morally complex act of an infatuated teenage girl unmindful of more serious consequences--for a full two-thirds of the way in is a stroke of genius. We are treated to the slow buildup of characters as if they've been painted by the main protagonists themselves, revealing new facets as the light changes and layers are added. A gentle creative art teacher with a serious illness. A teenage girl struggling with the intensity of shiny new emotions. Her tired mother. A lonely trophy wife. A woman whose every action is informed by her pain and anxiety over her brother's condition. There is no hurry to get where we're going; time feels oddly suspended, almost irrelevant between the actions and emotions of the players on this quiet stage. And yet, as becomes clear, time is everything. Time, or its march onward, will thwart and torment. Will defeat love, even. For some. For most?

Cryptic as all this sounds, my aim is not to spoil the gentle spell of this courageous novel by over describing plot details. At heart, this is a love story. There are elements of an eternal love triangle, aspects of betrayal, dalliances with something darker, but the overall sense left with this reader was of something incredibly emotional and generous in spirit.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost for superlatives January 16, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really am lost for superlatives. This book touches every aspect of what is to be young, to be sick, to hopeless...or hopeful. Every character is beautifully rounded, there is something to redeem the ones you dislike and something to annoy you in the ones you want to win through. I didn't want it to end and will be reading everything else by this author. Thank you for a remarkable tale of being human.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing
A sad story written with feeling and empathy. So glad I chose Drawing Breath to read from among the millions of choices. Read more
Published 3 days ago by J. Graziani
3.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't finish it
Don't get me wrong. It isn't a bad book. It's very well-written and the characters are easy to picture.

It's just too sad for me. Read more
Published 4 days ago by S. Samuel
5.0 out of 5 stars Still trying to draw a breath
A warm, poignant story that captures your heart and leaves you breathless at the end. One of my very few five stars, but so deserving.
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for everyone
I didn't expect much of this book, but was pleasantly surprised. Due to one of the main character's being on 'borrowed time' with cystic fibrosis this story may be distressing for... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Cheryl
5.0 out of 5 stars Summary
A story of painful love. Infatuation, life, death, and uncertain longing about the future. Caught between youthful infatuation and desire to be loved.
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Touching Compelling Read
Drawing Breath is a compelling true-to-life story about innocence, entangled emotions, and complicated relationships. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Florence Osmund
4.0 out of 5 stars A study of lives
My favorite kind of read...kind of like a psych class. The characters became real and I could feel their emotion on the pages. A short read but worthy of your time.
Published 1 month ago by MKay
5.0 out of 5 stars A hauntingly beautiful story about a young girl's infatuation with the...
A hauntingly beautiful story about a young girl's infatuation with the chronically ill tenant upstairs. Well-drawn and rounded characters and a plot that keeps you reading. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Living1
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good book - emotional.
Published 1 month ago by llslla
5.0 out of 5 stars She thinks it's true love. Daniel lives upstairs from her and he has...
I received a copy for free in exchange for an honest review.
Caitlin Kelly is sixteen and infatuated with Daniel Benedetto. She thinks it's true love. Read more
Published 2 months ago by lady g
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More About the Author

Laurie Boris is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and former graphic designer. She has been writing fiction for over twenty-five years and is the award-winning author of five novels: The Joke's on Me, Drawing Breath, Don't Tell Anyone, Sliding Past Vertical, and Playing Charlie Cool. When not hanging out with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she enjoys baseball, cooking, reading, and helping aspiring novelists as a contributing writer and editor for She lives in New York's lovely Hudson Valley.

* Follow Laurie on Facebook at
* Keep up with Laurie's blog at
* Follow Laurie on Twitter at
* Check out Laurie and other award-winning authors at and see her page there at

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