Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The Weight Of Air By Kimberly Duffy

The Weight of Air
by Kimberly Duffy
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764240386

From the first book Kimberly Duffy wrote, I knew I would be hooked on her writing. Have I read all of her books now with The Weight of Air having been published? Yes, I have! Kimberly sent me her book for review. 


Two women--bound by blood, torn apart by circumstance--find together that true strength comes in many forms.

In 1911, Mabel MacGinnis is Europe's strongest woman and has performed beside her father in the Manzo Brothers Circus her entire life. When he dies unexpectedly, she loses everything she's ever known and sets off in the company of acrobat Jake Cunningham in hope of finding the mother she thought was dead.

Isabella Moreau, America's most feted aerialist, has given everything to the circus. But age and injury now threaten her security, and Isabella, stalked by old fears, makes a choice that risks everything. Then her daughter Mabel appears alongside the man who never wanted to see Isabella again, and she is forced to face the truth of where, and in what, she derives her worth.

As Mabel and Isabella's lives become entangled beneath the glittering lights and flying trapeze of Madison Square Garden, their resiliency and resolve are tested as they learn the truth of what it means to be strong.

My Review:

The Weight of Air is an incredibly powerful story! This is going to be another one that sits with me for a long time. There's so much to unpack in it, but also so much that can't be shared because you need to have it unfold for yourself as you read.

We meet Mabel as a young girl, just as she's separated from her mother. We get a sense of the family dynamics immediately. The author has a way of helping the reader feel deep emotions in a very short amount of time. As we meet Mabel as an adult, she's become quite the woman. It was fascinating to get an idea of her through not only the people around her, but also through her own eyes. I think many women can related in some fashion to Mabel. Is she larger than life, more than other women, yes, but I think most of us struggle with our appearance and how we believe others see us and society's expectations. Through the women of this story we're reminded once again how women are often objectified and only seen for their body parts.

This story certainly had me looking over my own life and how it was shaped by those around me. Lies I have always believed about myself. The postpartum depression that I dealt with, but had never even heard of back in the early 90s. This is where I was able to relate to Polly, Mabel's mother. Relate more than I can explain. The author does this condition SO much justice. Very well written.

We also get to know Isabella apart from everything she knew in Europe. She is an example of a woman who is defined by her past. The demons that are constantly chasing her have all impacted her life for years. The choices she makes to try to save her career are heart wrenching, but what does one do when she's about to lose everything? As a reader, you can sense her hopelessness. 

While Jake and Mabel try to find her mother, they have battles of their own to conquer. The highs and lows (literally and figuratively) will take you on quite a ride. Their story will break your heart and make it soar by turn. This story will remind you how powerful love can truly be! Jake is a fantastic character! His strength of character shines through constantly. Same with Robert! With all the men who have failed them in life, there are men who will champion them! Doesn't that make your heart soar?

The author truly brought the circus world to life for me. She's had a knack in each of her books for painting the world her characters are in with such vivid imagery. It's one of my favorite things about her writing. The glitz, the glamour, the sense of family, the pain they put themselves through, knowing that their time is limited and someone is waiting to take their place, all of it is center stage for us.

Topics include:
postpartum depression
suicide (only referred to in the past tense)
sex outside of marriage (this is not glorified in any way and is handled beautifully by the author)

About the Author:

Kimberly Duffy ( is a Long Island native currently living in southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she's not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn't mind.


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.