Would you, if you can ask for wings? Does that mean you can fly instead of taking life one step at a time? "We Never Asked for Wings" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh provides us with a story of a family, trying to make it work, intermix with current social issues of class, young love, bullying and undocumented and documented immigration.
I've never read "The Language of Flowers", but I've heard many great things about it. So I did not have much expectations reading "We Never Asked for Wings", just that Ms. Diffenbaugh is a best selling author, and this is her second novel. The title is beautiful. The image of the little girl is beautiful, whom I pictured as Luna, the cute little girl with funny dialogue and antics that makes you smile. The story is sad, inspiring for some and ultimately beautiful in its own right. Ms. Diffenbaugh gave us a story to think about.
A story that gives us inspiration to hope for a better life with Letty, in her 30s trying to be a parent to her teenage son, Alex and young daughter, Luna for the first time. She stopped drinking, started studying and try to give her kids a good environment to grow up in. That's inspiring. Alex is a smart boy who loves science and birds, falls in love with a girl that is undocumented and because of her physical deformities, bullied at school. And with young love, mistakes are made. Ms. Diffenbaugh gave us a story that tugs at your heart strings, and her prosaic way of writing about the intricacies of undocumented immigrants pulls away from the big picture of it all. I guess she doesn't want to get too political about it. However, I still find stories as such gives readers a certain interpretation that doesn't line with the real issue. I don't want to go into it, since reading is about escape at times, not doting on the details. So if you find yourself very frequently influenced deeply and can't jump back to reality, maybe skip this, but if you're able to treat this just as a story, with good writing, themes of young love and search for a new life, then this is a story worth your time.
NOTE: I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher, Ballantine Books, a division of Random House Publishing Group through Net Galley for an honest review.