Tuesday, September 22, 2015

5-Star Review of "We Never Asked for Wings"

Review of We Never Asked for Wings

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh


From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.

MY REVIEW:  I can not say enough good things about this book and new-to-me author.  This is Vanessa Diffenbaugh's second novel and now I want to find the first novel she wrote and read it as well.   The characters are real and lovable and complex.   I could easily feel the raw emotions of each of the main characters.  I honestly did not have a great deal of knowledge concerning illegal immigrants in the United States and the struggles they must face in an attempt to better the lives of themselves and their families.   Living in meager, cramped spaces and working many jobs while being away from their children is the plight of the immigrants in this book.  
          The author also deals beautifully with youth and the bad choices that are often made in the name of love.  Letty spends her time trying to get ahead and helping her children to have the best opportunities in life after her parents move back to Mexico and force her to finally become a true parent to Alex and Luna.  It is a tough road for the children and Letty, but hope and help may appear in unexpected ways.   
          I rate this book 5 stars and eagerly recommend it to readers of dramatic fiction.  
          I received a kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Vanessa Diffenbaugh

VANESSA DIFFENBAUGH was born in San Francisco and raised in Chico, California. After graduating from Stanford University, she worked in the non-profit sector, teaching art and technology to youth in low-income communities. Following the success of her debut novel, The Language of Flowers, she co-founded Camellia Network, a non-profit whose mission is to connect every youth aging out of foster care to the critical resources, opportunities, and support they need to thrive in adulthood. She currently lives in Monterey, CA, with her husband and four children.

Follow Vanessa at facebook.com/vanessadiffenbaugh

Follow Vanessa on Twitter @VDiffenbaugh

Follow Vanessa on Instagram @vanessadiffenbaugh

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