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Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
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Birds of Paradise

by Diana Abu-Jaber

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I received this book from GR Giveaways. I've read Crescent by the same author. I won't go over the story of Birds of Paradise as it's amply available here. Instead, I'll share my opinion of the style of writing and its tone.

The writing is very good and beautiful in many parts. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of food and especially baking. The author is clear and very touching in her writing.

The tone is sad and depressing. Given that the book centers around how a family copes with having a 13-year child run away numerous times and stay away, this is to be expected. However, the overall effect in the majority of the book/story is heavy. I didn't get carried by the story. I dreaded it in several parts.... it's gritty, filled with angst. And because of Abu-Jaber insights and articulate writing, the melancholy is clear as well as persistent. ( )
  ming.l | Mar 31, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is full of vivid imagery and has a poetic feel, yet the story felt flat and I wasn't drawn to the characters. The best part of this story was the wonderful food descriptions. My mouth watered and I could almost smell them. ( )
  Nicnac63 | Mar 5, 2013 |
14-year-old Felice runs away from home after a secret trauma. The family she leaves behind seems to be a fairly normal, that is to say slightly dysfunctional, American family. Despite the efforts of her parents and her brother, Felice chooses to remain on the streets of Miami. The plot, narrated by the perspectives of the various family members, winds through the neighborhoods of tropical Miami. But at 18, Felice has a near death experience, which changes everything; she resurfaces. I won't give away the tragic secret, but it is one that most teenage girls would relate to.

Abu-Juber's language is flawlessly poetic. I would recommend it for that alone, but it also gives a birds eye view of seedy teenage street life. It's ending is a bit, sappy, but still well worth the read. It would be a good choice for teaching literature at the high school level.
  blhooley | Jan 8, 2013 |
Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber, is about a family in Miami with a run-away daughter. It looks at things from the perspective of each of the family members, what they're doing, how they're feeling. The characters are human and likeable and I found I really cared about what was happening to them. I found the end a bit disappointing but otherwise it's a great read. ( )
  RebaRelishesReading | Sep 29, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received the audio version of this book as an Early Reviewer. I have to confess, it was difficult to invest in the story as the author seemed to take endless time painting a picture with intricate details with a myriad of characters that I couldn't connect to. By the time I got to disc 5 of 10, I wasn't sure whether to throw in the towel or hold out to see if the author was going to redeem herself in the end... the jury is still out. ( )
  sharlene_w | Sep 27, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393064611, Hardcover)

A multilayered, beautifully textured novel about family and self, self-indulgence and generosity, against the vivid backdrop of contemporary Miami.

In the tropical paradise that is Miami, Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years of modeling tattoos, skateboarding, clubbing, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach, Felice is about to turn eighteen. Her family—Avis, an exquisitely talented pastry chef; Brian, a corporate real estate attorney; and her brother, Stanley, the proprietor of Freshly Grown, a trendy food market—will each be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal. Meanwhile, Felice must reckon with the guilty secret that drove her away, and must face her fear of losing her family and her sense of self forever.

This multilayered novel about a family that comes apart at the seams—and finds its way together again—is totally involving and deeply satisfying, a glorious feast of a book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:07 -0400)

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After a five year absence, an eighteen-year-old runaway returns to her family in Miami to deal with the guilty secret that caused her to flee.

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LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Diana Abu-Jaber's book Birds of Paradise AUDIO EDITION was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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