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This was free through Kindle Unlimited, so I can’t complain too much. And I did finish it—there was enough to keep me interested.
Vivian (in an iron lung—yes, there are still a few polio victims in them) was much more interesting than Holly, though a whole book from Vivian’s POV would have probably been too much. It is rather a credit to the author that she dug deep enough with Vivian’s character but didn’t go dark and depressing. Any time I actually paused to think about life in an iron lung, I just shuddered and wasn’t sure I wanted to keep listening. So there’s the rub. I feel like this should have been a more serious work of fiction, rather than a fairly lightweight novel that tackles many difficult subjects but seems to skate the surface for the most part. But if it had been darker and deeper, I don’t know that I would have finished.
The writing was adequate, but I think if it were just a little better, the book would have been a more engaging read/listen. Speaking of which, the audio narrators were quite good—especially the woman who narrated Vivian’s character.
What did you love best about The Virtues of Oxygen?
The character of Vivien truly brought emotion to the story. The story has great heart, the characters are mostly sympathetic, and it was a heartwarming, entertaining story.
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