Thursday, April 28, 2016

We Never Asked For Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Hardback: 294 pages
Genre:Contemporary Fiction 
Publisher: Mantle 2015
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: It wasn't too late to turn back.
Review Quote: I was hooked from the first breathtaking pages of We Never Asked for Wings, caring about this exquisitely vulnerable family, hoping right along with them on every page that each heart-rending, impossible choice would lead them somewhere better together -- Lisa Genova, New York Times best selling author of Still Alice
My Opinion: This has been one of my favourite reads this year, with its forceful theme of family life in difficult circumstances and how a young girl learns how to become a Mother to her children. The protagonist Letty at first did not seem to me to be a very likeable young lady, but I soon found myself beginning to care for her. As the story progresses Letty realises that she can change despite the mistakes she has made in her life. The parallels made between human behaviour and the flight pattern of birds, which I found absolutely fascinating.

A very moving and compelling read, which I cannot recommend highly enough, definitely a good choice for book club discussion. 

' We Never Asked For Wings' Précis Courtesy of Goodreads

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.

YouTube Trailer

Author Profile

VANESSA DIFFENBAUGH was born in San Francisco and raised in Chico, California. After graduating from Stanford University, she worked in the non-profit sector, teaching art and technology to youth in low-income communities. Following the success of her début novel, The Language of Flowers, she co-founded Camellia Network, a non-profit whose mission is to connect every youth coming 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.

Photographs and biographical information courtesy of the following sites.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh on Twitter    Vanessa Diffenbaugh Author - Facebook 

Instagram - Vanessa Diffenbaugh     Amazon Author Profile    Goodreads Author Profile


  1. I loved The Language of Flowers. I'll add this to my list too. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

    1. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did, Anne, do let me know. I am doing well here in Wales, thanks for asking,

  2. This novel is an interesting presentation of the immigrant issue from the perspective of a teenager. It includes themes of single parents and their struggles to raise children and balance their lives.



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