Hoover Public Library Adult Fiction's Reviews > Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
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's review
Apr 16, 2012

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bookshelves: family-issues, general-fiction

This story is about the Muir family, fractured, but very typical in its dealings. Brian is an ivy-league trained real estate lawyer who is growingly disillusioned at work to the point of flirting with a Cuban co-worker. Avis is the mother for whom baking is a art and profession. She crafts the most elaborate desserts the Miami rich have ever known and all that baking takes her away from her problems in the home. The oldest son, Stanley, owns an organic grocery but is struggling to survive with his pregnant girlfriend. And last, but never least is Felice, who is turning eighteen after five years of living on the street. She broke her family's hearts when she ran away at the age of thirteen and had distanced herself completely from the inner workings of family and home. Upon the arrival of Hurricane Katrina in Miami, the Muir's face various challenges that tear them away from rationality. The best character of all in this book is Miami itself - Abu-Jaber describes a throbbing metropolis on the verge of explosion - with details galore of the suburbs from which the Muir's reside to the gritty streets and beaches on which Felice survives. Quite an entertaining read.
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