Monday, August 10, 2015

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

My goodness! This summer has really thrown a wrench in my reading and posting. School starts in only two weeks, so hopefully I'll be back on track soon. Recently I finished We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and it was really not what I was expecting. Letty is a young mother who hasn't done much mothering at all to her 15-year-old son Alex and 6-year-old daughter Luna. She hasn't had to- her mother has borne the brunt of the child-raising while Letty has worked up to three jobs to support the children, her mother and father and herself. This wasn't what she intended, but doubting her parenting ability, she allowed it to happen. Suddenly Letty's whole world is turned upside down: her parents have moved back to Mexico with no notice and left her to finally figure things out on her own. She has to gain the trust of her children and somehow take care of her new, smaller family.

This book touched on many different interesting themes: Letty's young motherhood, the mother-daughter relationship that Letty has with her own mother, poverty, illegal immigration and a its many consequences, young love, survival and the desperation to protect one's children. These are all interesting topics to be explored, and for the most part Diffenbaugh dug in deep and found something commendable, but as the story progressed I felt it lost steam. There was one conflict in particular that didn't have enough meat for me and it seemed to be added simply to satisfy the need for another chasm for the characters to cross. The final climax seemed to come very late and the resolution felt rushed to me. This is one of those books I really liked in the beginning, but felt unsatisfied in finishing. I have heard wonderful things about her previous novel, The Language of Flowers, but I've not read it. If you read this one, and find I've missed something, please let me know. Some books just need to be discussed.

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