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142 Ostriches

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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Set against the unexpected splendor of an ostrich ranch in the California desert, April Dvila'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
Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Celeste Sometimes, though they are often farmed for their skins and their eggs
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Average rating 4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  69 ratings  ·  52 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 hadn’t 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 trick…
...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
IJ
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a Book Blogger at For the Southwest By the Southwest Book Corner. I was given a ARC copy to read and review for a fair and honest review.

This is the debut book for April. I really enjoy reading first books of Authors, it really gives me a glimpse into their soul. This was a very good book for a first time Author.

Why do I give it 5 stars? Real simple, when you read this book, you feel emotion of many different kinds. But... tears I did shed, so that did it for me.

Are Ostriches cute? NO Do
...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
Amy Meyerson
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
142 Ostriches is unlike anything I’ve read before. Wholly unique, this cinematic novel exposes readers to the relatively unknown industry of ostrich farming. In Davila’s 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
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
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 you’ve read that book? Well, imagine, then, that the inheritance is an ostrich ranch in the Mojave Desert and that the heiress doesn’t want it.

April Davila’s “142 Ostriches” will take you not to the swanky restaurants of Manhattan, but to a vast open space roamed by giant birds. It’s a straight-shooting story in which Tallulah Jones, a young woman who inherits an ostrich ranch, decides whether to embrace the legacy her
...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 Dávila’s 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
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!
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
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 ...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
Janet (MommyTheReader)
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
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. 24–year-old Tallulah inherits her grandmother’s 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 grandmother’s passing, and handle several challenging family ...more
Sarah
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Early edition book club read.
What a wonderful story about the journey of life while running an ostrich ranch. Who knew there was such a thing?
All the feels. Fantastic story line, great characters. Quick awesome story.
Now I need to google up Ostriches!
Ann Marie
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well, well well. This book was exactly what I expected mainly from the title and description of the book. I did enjoy this book. Was It action packed and thought-provoking? No. But also the author never said It was. This was what I like to call a "nice" book and what I mean by that, is that it was a book that is a welcome break from being scared out of my mind, confused, pulling my hair out, or climbing the walls trying to figure out who did what to whom.
In other words, it was merely a book I
...more
Bridget
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
*** I received an ARC of 142 Ostriches in a Goodreads giveaway and was encouraged to leave a review. All opinions are my own. ***

This one surprised me. It was quite an emotional journey and I throughly enjoyed it despite the fact that I rarely read realistic fiction. I may have to change that! 142 Ostriches takes a heartfelt and human look at grief, forgiveness, and self-discovery. Davila does an incredible job of breathing life into the characters and describing the desert life in lovely
...more
Casey Highley
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Tallulah Jones had not had an easy up brining.
Her mother, Laura Jones, had left the families ostrich farm with her boyfriend upon learning of her pregnancy. Laura had moved from jobs and boyfriends all over Oakland, California, and taken Tallulah with her. Tallulah has questioned about who her birth father is but Laura tells her to leave it alone. When Grandma Helen shows up at the door to their apartment when Tallulah is thirteen, it is a surprise for both of them. Grandma Helen has came to
...more
Laura Hill
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on February 25th, 2020.

24-year old Tallulah wants nothing more than to blow her small Mojave desert town and head for a fire prevention hand crew in Montana. However, when the grandmother who raised her dies suddenly and leaves her the Ostrich Farm (complete with 142 ostriches), all bets are off.

Tallulah is a gratifyingly strong character. Coming
...more
Abby Suzanne
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
ElleM
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tallulah's maternal Grandma Helen stepped in and took her from her negligent mother when she was a teenager. Tallulah finished growing up on her grandmother's ostrich farm, helping with all the daily chores and slowly taking over more and more of the physical tasks. She feels stifled and unsettled, but when she finally gets her chance to leave, her Grandma Helen dies suddenly and leaves the farm to Tallulah. Tallulah immediately comes under pressure from the differing expectations of her Grandma ...more
Becky Vander Hoeven
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kookie9200
Feb 11, 2020 marked it as to-read
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this book.

When Lu''s grandmother unexpectedly dies weeks before she is to take off for a new job in Montana, she is left with a conundrum. Does she sell the farm, and all 142 ostriches, or does she take up the legacy her grandmother has left her and run the farm?

What I liked: I liked the tug and pull between the two sides of Lu: the girl that loves the farm and wants to stay and the girl that feels the need to make her own
...more
Dominique
Jan 30, 2020 marked it as to-read
When I finished 142 Ostriches, I sat in a trance of the fluttering of my heart. I think anyone who devours fiction is looking for a book like this: a novel of novelty, the experience of being utterly transported and a little bit transformed.

Dávila’s writing left me enchanted by the Mojave Desert, a gorgeous backdrop to the ostrich ranch where Tallulah Jones wrestles with fundamental questions of life—How do I make my own way? What is home? Who do I want to be? The ostriches in orbit of these
...more
Dominique
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I finished 142 Ostriches, I sat in a trance of the fluttering of my heart. I think anyone who devours fiction is looking for a book like this: a novel of novelty, the experience of being utterly transported and a little bit transformed.

Dávila’s writing left me enchanted by the Mojave Desert, a gorgeous backdrop to the ostrich ranch where Tallulah Jones wrestles with fundamental questions of life—How do I make my own way? What is home? Who do I want to be? The ostriches in orbit of these
...more
Amtsull44
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
"When pressed, she would say that the desert was her church, the perfect rhythms of nature her hymns, the elegant wisdom of the ecosystem her Bible. She put her trust in the shifting sands that surrounded her and said that if there was a God, he resided in the wind and the moon and the unrivaled yellow of a desert marigold."

After Tallulah's grandmother dies, she's left with a ranch of 142 ostriches in the Mojave desert. She's torn between what her grandmother would want and her own personal
...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
Denise
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received the advanced reader's edition of this book and finished it in two days. I did like the book and the main character, Tallulah Jones, as well. The author does a good job in unraveling her story in bits and pieces allowing the reader to understand the young woman she becomes and why she behaves as she does.

I believe the setting is unusual as it mostly takes place on her grandmother's ostrich ranch in the Mojave Desert which is an area and occupation I really did not know much about.
...more
Lisa
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this novel over the weekend, actually over the course of a Saturday between loads of laundry. While I was changing my whites I’m from the washer and into the dryer I would wonder “why aren’t Tallulah‘s ostriches laying eggs? Are they sick? Heartbroken?” I became quite invested in Tallulah‘s ostriches and worried about their safety.
Obviously the novel isn’t just about ostriches. It’s a novel about self discovery. It’s about believing one thing about yourself and then realizing you are
...more
Meagan Brockway
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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 ...more