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142 Ostriches

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  231 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Set against the unexpected splendor of an ostrich ranch in the California desert, April Dávila's beautifully written debut conjures an absorbing and compelling heroine in a story of courage, family and forgiveness.

When Tallulah Jones was thirteen, her grandmother plucked her from the dank Oakland apartment she shared with her unreliable mom and brought her to the family
...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Nova in this story, on this farm, the ostriches are raised for their eggs. the eggs are shipped to specialty grocery stores.…morein this story, on this farm, the ostriches are raised for their eggs. the eggs are shipped to specialty grocery stores. (less)

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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  231 ratings  ·  122 reviews


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Elyse  Walters
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tallulah Jones use to live with her alcoholic- mother in a pathetic apartment in Oakland.... but at age 13, her grandmother took over the caretaking - and moved Tallulah to her ostrich ranch in the Mojave Desert in California. Tallulah hadnt seen her mother at all for 11 years.

Talluluh loved working with the birds and on a ranch for many years...
but she was growing up.
At age 24... she was planning on leaving to join the Forest Service in Montana.....
But....
Grandma Helen played a dirty trickshe
...more
Blaine DeSantis
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When the year is over, there is no doubt in my mind that this will be one of my Top 5 books of the year! Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for sending me a free advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. So much goes on in this book that one is hard pressed to come up with a favorite part of the book. OK, for me it was the Ostriches!! Visited an Ostrich and Emu farm in Aruba and was fascinated by those birds, and this carried over with my reading of this wonderful debut ...more
Nursebookie
Have you ever been in love with an ostrich before? I never thought I would until I read this book. This debut novel by April Davila was so beautifully written about a family operating an ostrich farm in the California Mojave dessert. Davila's plot and characters are what made this book unforgettable and such an amazing read for me. Tallulah, our protagonist was such a well written character that was an inspiration and considerable my heroine in this story. Tallulah's character will be one of the ...more
Blaine DeSantis
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When the year is over, there is no doubt in my mind that this will be one of my Top 5 books of the year! Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for sending me a free advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. So much goes on in this book that one is hard pressed to come up with a favorite part of the book. OK, for me it was the Ostriches!! Visited an Ostrich and Emu farm in Aruba and was fascinated by those birds, and this carried over with my reading of this wonderful debut ...more
Diane S ☔
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This turned out to be quite a nice novel of self discovery. Though I am reading some lighter reads, when I first started this I thought it might be too light. Yet, how many chances are there to read a book that contains 142 ostriches? Not many, or maybe none. It does start rather slowly, but add a dysfunctional family, and the pace is sure to move right along.

Plus, I enjoyed the main character Tullulah, her searching for self and all the trials and tribulations she has to go through first. Loved
...more
Moonkiszt
It was the title that got me on this book. And then it takes place in Imperial Valley, California - a very specific, familiar place in my life.

The Ostrich farm is plopped far out on the end of a road in hot, hot, hot Imperial Valley, and there are exactly 142 of these magnificent birds who call this farm home. Some like to trot alongside cars motoring up the drive, or hover-track the humans that tend them. They have mega-nests and mega-eggs (or did. . . .), names for each. It was fun to learn
...more
Amy Meyerson
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
142 Ostriches is unlike anything Ive read before. Wholly unique, this cinematic novel exposes readers to the relatively unknown industry of ostrich farming. In Davilas skillful hands, the desert comes alive and the ostriches are as compelling as the human characters. Tallulah herself is a memorable, strong-willed protagonist. Her struggle to negotiate family obligations with her own desires feels both singular and highly relatable. I loved following her through the pages of this fast-paced and ...more
Courtney
Thank you to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the Arc. I will try to keep this review as beautifully quick as this novel was.

I loved this novel. Never would I think I would be so enraptured and invested in ostriches! A short work of fiction with a plot that moved along at a steady pace, but the author still had time to develop a complex cast characters. My favourite read of 2020 thus far. I would recommend this book!
Donna
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, giveaways
I received an advanced copy of this book for an honest review of it.

I loved this novel! April Davila's story is about Tallulah Jones, a young woman who is stuck living on her grandmother's ostrich ranch in the Mojave desert of California -- and wants to get out to escape the stifling small town life, her unambitious boyfriend, and her dysfunctional family. When her grandmother dies, Tallulah finds herself the sole inheritor of the ranch. She needs to sell quickly in order to take on a job in
...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars

❤❤ Cover Love ❤❤

142 Ostriches is both thought provoking and captivating. The different themes are skillfully woven together to create an engaging story about Tallulah Jones finding the courage to go on, and the will to make a difference. The loss of her beloved Grandma Helen, the non- exsistanse of her mother, and her uncle's betrayal all contribute to the misery and heartache that are rending Tallulah's soul. Tallulah is lucky to have her aunt Christine as she is compelled to look
...more
Shannon (The Book Club Mom)
Oh my gosh, this book shocked my socks off in the best way possible. After reading the synopsis, I wasnt sure what to expect. A novel about a family ostrich ranch in the Mojave Desert? Say what? My interest was certainly piqued, but I was also a tad skeptical. I will tell you this, my friends. This fascinating family drama exceeded my expectations like you would not believe. The storyline is unique, it contains very interesting characters, is full of surprises, and its extremely memorable. And ...more
Donna Hines
Tenacious, Resilient, Beautiful!
Dysfunction in the face of the unknown with the audacity to keep moving forward.
If you're looking a a good read from a debut writer you'll find it here!
A splendid piece focusing on family struggles v personal obligations with a strong willed and powerful protagonist.
No mother of the year hear, with an off the wall Holy Roller aunt coupled with the mysterious passing of a beloved grandmother and folks you got yourself a winner!
Did I mention the inheritance and
...more
Rebecca Raney
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a novel about family strife over an inheritance. You think youve read that book? Well, imagine, then, that the inheritance is an ostrich ranch in the Mojave Desert and that the heiress doesnt want it.

April Davilas 142 Ostriches will take you not to the swanky restaurants of Manhattan, but to a vast open space roamed by giant birds. Its a straight-shooting story in which Tallulah Jones, a young woman who inherits an ostrich ranch, decides whether to embrace the legacy her grandmother has
...more
Kristy Lin Billuni
A breezy, luscious read with masterful, descriptive writing and surprising, heart-stopping action, 142 Ostriches grapples with independence, love, and expressing the way we feel. I fell for Dávilas main character for her straightforward, conspiratorial, first-person voice on page one. In spite of her fierce loner spirit, we get to know Tallulah through the women meant to look after her, from Mom, to Grandma, to Aunt Christine, and thus, the story delivers an ensemble of complex women characters ...more
Neelam Babul
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sweet and touching story of a young girl, Tallulah, who inherits her recently deceased grandmother's ostrich farm. Tallulah Jones used to live with her alcoholic- mother in a pathetic apartment in Oakland but at age 13, her grandmother took over the caretaking - and moved Tallulah to her ostrich ranch in the Mojave Desert in California.

Tallulah hadnt seen her mother at all for 11 years. Her mother always had her own life to live leaving Tallulah behind to fend for herself.

Tallulah loved
...more
Cindy
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kensington-pub
Everything you ever wanted to know about ostriches but were afraid to ask! A dysfunctional family and 142 ostriches. What more could a reader want! The story was beautiful and so carefully told that I could feel the love for these elegant birds with their individual personalities. Its a story of family, community, forgiveness, trust and pain. The book jacket is one of the prettiest I have ever seen. I thank Kensington Books for sending me a comp. copy. ...more
Catherine Baab-Muguira
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautiful, original, transporting novel! In the last few years, I've read mostly nonfiction--after a childhood spent devouring novels--and this book reminded me of why we read novels at all. 142 Ostriches takes you on a sympathetic but unflinching journey into a unique and seemingly lonely and desolate existence, only to show you how landscapes shape our lives and how families endure and find ways to love each other even after great loss. I picked up the book, planning to read 10 ...more
Tzipora
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a unique and unforgettable read!

As a bird nerd, 142 Ostriches was a book I was anticipating. I forgot to request it before it was released but a special shout out and thank you to Kensington Books for approving me a day or so after the release! None of us knew yet just where or world was headed with all the virus shutdowns but this one ended up being exactly what I needed right now and I would especially recommend it to anyone looking for a transportive and immersive novel to escape with
...more
Erin Cataldi
Running an ostrich ranch in the unforgiving California desert is not how Tallulah Jones wants to spend the rest of her life. She's helped her grandmother run the ranch since she was thirteen years old, but she's finally ready to forge her own path and get out of the Mohave Desert. When her grandmother unexpectedly dies and leaves her the ranch she decides that she's going to sell the ranch even though it's the last thing her grandmother would have wanted. Unfortunately for Tallulah, that's when ...more
Carrie Cook
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel takes us to the fascinating world of an ostrich farm in the Mojave Desert and leaves us there to sort things out along with the protagonist, Tallulah. 24year-old Tallulah inherits her grandmothers farm at the same time that she has made plans to leave the farm and experience life on her own. She is forced to put her wishes on hold in order to manage her birds (who have mysteriously stopped laying eggs), navigate her grandmothers passing, and handle several challenging family members, ...more
Janet (mommy.the.reader)
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, gr-giveaways
This one really resonated with me. The conflict Tallulah feels when faced with making huge life course changing decisions at such a young age is compelling, and all too relatable. She wants nothing more than to finally take control and escape a future others have laid out for her. She has a plan to leave everything behind, when she's thrown a curveball: 142 ostriches.

While not a book primarily about ostriches, I learned some fun facts about the gigantic birds. Favorite line: "Tipped with
...more
Erin Duffey
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick, easy read. Loved the strong female relationships and learning about ostriches 😍
Lolly K Dandeneau
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/
'At worst, you lived a life bent by compromise until you woke up one day worn-out and bitter because you let someone talk you into a life you never wanted in the first place.'

Grandma Helen just made a big exit from her life and now her granddaughter Tallulah Jones is responsible for running her Ostrich Ranch in the Mojave Desert. The problem is Tallulah has plans to work with the Forest Service and had just received an acceptance letter
...more
Nancy Timmerman
The novel 142 Ostriches by April Dàvila, is not only about the unknown world of owning an ostrich farm, but what a family will endure to help each other when trouble emerges. The author writes an amazing debut novel focusing on how a mother figure can be an influence to good or bad choices in life. April also sets the scene beautifully with her descriptions of the Mojave desert, allowing me feel the experience with the character...Sunrise reached across the valley and washed orange over the tops ...more
Sally
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ostriches. Imagine taking care of 142 ostriches. A family owned ostrich farm is the focal point of this story. A mom and pop farm that is carried on by mom/grandma after dad passes. Grandma tracks down and brings back to the farm her 13 year old granddaughter, Tallulah from her estranged daughter who left pregnant on the back of her boyfriend's motorcycle at 15. Now 13 years later there is a tragic accident and Tallulah is left alone on the farm just as she is thinking of leaving for a different ...more
Mallory (onmalsshelf) Bartel
Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

When I first read the synopsis, I had a feeling that I would love 142 Ostriches. When I started reading it, I feel in love. 142 Ostriches is officially my favorite book of 2020 so far.

I grew up visiting a family ostrich ranch in Indiana, completely different than one in California, but there was something so familiar about hearing about the birds.

April Davila crafted an unforgettable heroine with some gritty
...more
Kayla Mckinney
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for this ARC!

April Davila crafts a unique tale in "142 Ostriches." Reluctant rancher Tallulah Jones inherits an ostrich farm upon the loss of her grandmother, but she also inherits the problems of toxic family: a legacy of poverty, addiction, criminality, and abandonment. Trying to find herself and make her own life means letting that ranch go, but chaos ensues just as she tries to escape. Readers will cheer for the tough, plucky young woman dealing with
...more
Tessa
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could almost taste the desert grit in my teeth as I followed Tallulah and her quest to escape her domestic ties to her family in the Mojave. Against the backdrop of an ostrich farm, I was sucked into the drama of a newly independent woman, and her connection to her grandmother, mother, aunt and the peripheral menfolk. Twists and turns abound, and I found myself continually not wanting to put the book down.

The author is a friend, and I'm so impressed by her debut novel. Her story exudes her
...more
Jane
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-publishers
Thank you to Kensington Books for this ARC. If I would have never received it as surprise bookmail I probably wouldn't have read it.

I enjoyed this book and learning about ostriches at the same time. I've never been on an ostrich ranch or how they deal with them but this book make them sound like they can be friendly animals but they aren't. There were a few acted sort of like pets though.

Tallulah is one mature 20+ year old and living with her Grandmother . She ends up taking over her late
...more
Geonn Cannon
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A "stay up late to finish" book. I loved it from the very first page. Tallulah is a fantastic character, and I love her 142 sidekicks (not that they all get names, but you get to know enough of them that it doesn't matter). I love the setting. An ostrich farm! Unique, unexpected, and so well researched that it felt lived-in rather than manufactured. Definitely one of my top reads of 2020.
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April Dávila received her undergraduate degree from Scripps College before going on to study writing at USC. She was a resident of the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in 2017 and attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers in 2018. In 2019 her short story Ultra was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A fourth-generation Californian, she lives in La Cañada Flintridge with her husband and two children. ...more

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