Emily's Reviews > Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
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Oct 16, 11

Read in October, 2011

This beautifully layered tale delves into issues of modern family, parenthood, marriage, childhood, lost innocence, redemption. The story of a family living in Miami dealing with the aftermath that follows in the wake of the disappearance of 13-year-old Felice, the extraordinarily beautiful daughter of Avis and Brian, and the sister of Stanley. The story opens six years after Felice's disappearance, on the eve of her 18th birthday, as a hurricane approaches Miami. Through flashbacks and sidesteps, and told from the point of view of Felice, Avis, Brian and finally Stanley as well, we learn what took Felice away from her family and the toll her absence has taken on all of the family members. As the hurricane bears down on the city the driving winds and rain bring about a conclusion that seems so sincere and honest, and yet is heartbreakingly poignant and beautiful. A subtle, quiet novel, but at the same time a compelling page-turner.
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