We Never Asked for Wings

We Never Asked for Wings

A Novel

Book - 2015
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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.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780553392319
Characteristics: 299 pages ;,25 cm.

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SuzeParker
Mar 29, 2020

While We Never Asked for Wings deals with some heavy issues - including teen pregnancy, immigration/undocumented aliens, child abandonment and bullying - it still felt a little superficial and sugar-coated. Letty has some problems learning to mother her kids, yes - but nothing like it likely would be for most parents who had handed off their child-rearing responsibilities to someone else for more than a decade. After a limited number of fits and starts, she falls into the role surprisingly easily. largely because Letty's storybook teenage son, Alex, is unnaturally thoughtful, and mature.

Considering Letty's poverty, background and lack of education and the complex topics addressed, this could have been a deeply thought-provoking and affecting book. It isn't, but it is a sweet and hopeful story with some strong moments.

k
KMJ_
Feb 26, 2019

I liked this book a lot more than The Language of Flowers. I thought most of the characters were very well-drawn and understandable. The exception was the grandparents. For people who were supposedly very caring grandparents, their decision to leave was hard to understand. The growing relationship between Letty and her children was beautifully done. The best relationship in the book though was definitely Alex and Ysenia. Their friendship in the beginning is done realistically, and the connection as outsiders explains their desperation to be together.

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OGBooktalk
Oct 23, 2017

on 2017 reading ballot

s
superreader64
Mar 20, 2017

I didn't like this book. The plot moved too slow. I don't recommend it. A waste of time reading it.
I have not read the author's first book and I don't know if I want to.

d
dlh1
Jan 15, 2017

My only complaint about this book is that it ended just as it was getting interesting. I went online looking for a sequel, but no luck. Hopefully, the author realizes that this story is unfinished and revisits the characters in the future. I was intrigued to find out more about the feather mosaics that were described in the book, and I found a link where I could view some examples of this type of art: http://hyperallergic.com/273305/plumage-of-the-saints-aztec-feather-art-in-the-age-of-colonialism/

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iflyercoupes
Jun 23, 2016

I didn't get through it. I love the author's writing but the pace was slower. To be honest, this was a 5-star book for reality, 2 stars for escapist fiction.

p
pktab
Sep 29, 2015

I gave up on this one. I have three other books to read and two waiting at library. This one was too depressing for me to deal with right now.

madison382 Sep 11, 2015

This book is about a young woman that had two children that her parents helped her to raise. After many years her parents left and went back to their native country and the mother had to take care of her children by herself. This book did not do it for me.

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barb8571
Aug 31, 2015

I loved her first book The Language of Flowers, and knew I wanted to read her latest offering. This book is excellent - not quite as good as her first one, but still right up there. Highly recommend.

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sasie
Aug 24, 2015

A great book for people that like fictional stories that deal with issues. I loved the characters and found it to be a very enjoyable book.

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