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ARC Review of We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

ARC Review of We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa DiffenbaughWe Never Asked for Wings: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
on January 1st 1970
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 310
Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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.

In ” An Oyster Shell- This started out as a hard read, then the characters drew you into as rewarding ending. I would recommend this book – though I would not consider it an easy read. 

The Pearls – What drew me to this book was the title. We never asked for wings. It’s just so haunting with endless possibilities. The irony of how that plays out in the book is incredibly genius. 

I liked that this book dealt with three generations of characters in one family. Particularly a family that had immigrated over from Mexico. Seeing how that affected the generations to the story we come to follow was very interesting.

My favorite part of this book was the character arc of Alex. The times I felt the story could be slow, the character alex kept me pushing through.

The Sand – At first it was hard to connect to the main character Vanessa. It’s hard to be sympathetic to a mother who doesn’t treat her children as she should. I think that made the beginning hard to get into, but Vanessa changes and I say stick it out until the end. 

I give this 4 Pearls.

4 Stars

About Vanessa Diffenbaugh

VANESSA DIFFENBAUGH was born in San Francisco and raised in Chico, California. After graduating from Stanford University, sheworked 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.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • The Bibliophile Babe August 10, 2015, 10:05 am

    I like the title, too! It sounds like an interesting read. :) Great review!
    The Bibliophile Babe recently posted…Book Review: Burying Water by K.A. TuckerMy Profile

    • Jessica August 10, 2015, 1:56 pm

      Thank you. It really was! For some reason I thought it would have something to do with butterflies… but it doesn’t and the story is appropriate for the title. Your TBR is probably a mile long like mine so if you ever get to it…

  • Elizabeth the Evil Overlord October 13, 2015, 6:13 pm

    I plan to read this, having enjoyed The Language of Flowers, but I think I’ll need to be in the right mood. Did you know that you have 1970 for the publication date?
    Elizabeth the Evil Overlord recently posted…The Good Neighbor has some secretsMy Profile

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