“We Never Asked For Wings”

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Following her very successful first novel, “The Language of Flowers,” author Vanessa Diffenbaugh writes once again about love but with an entirely different cast of characters.

Letty Espinosa is the daughter of two undocumentedl Mexican immigrants.  She was born in California and so were her two children.  Although, her family struggled financially, her parents gave her all the love they could give.  Letty, an only child, was able to attend a good high school and seemed to be on her way out of poverty.  However, at the age of sixteen she gets pregnant.  She decides that she will not tell her boyfriend, and he goes off to college.  Life continues a downward spiral.  She drinks, gets pregnant again, and goes from job to job.  It is only when her parents return to Mexico that she if forced to face her responsibilities and raise her own children.

In her “Acknowledgements” at the end of the book, the author says that it is generally believed that writing your second book is hard.  She believes that this is true because writing “We Never Asked For Wings” was incredibly difficult for her.  She states  “I tore the heart out of this novel and rewrote almost every single page.”  Unfortunately, the end result was not all it could be.  Somewhere within this novel is a better book.  The problems9780553392319_p0_v2_s192x300 of a single mother struggling to find her way, the difficulties facing illegal aliens, and how important education is to the underclass are all there in her book.  However, they are overshadowed by romantic relationships that are a bit too juvenile for such compelling themes.

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