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Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Written by Diana Abu-Jaber

Narrated by Tamara Marston


Birds of Paradise

Written by Diana Abu-Jaber

Narrated by Tamara Marston

ratings:
3/5 (81 ratings)
Length:
14 hours
Released:
Sep 6, 2011
ISBN:
9781611745788
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Avis Muir is a brilliant pastry chef, Brian Muir a corporate real estate attorney. Their son, Stanley, is the proprietor of a trendy food market. Their beautiful daughter, Felice, is missing. A runaway at 13, Felice has spent five years modeling tattoos, skateboarding, clubbing, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach. She’s about to turn 18. Soon all of the Muirs will be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal. And Felice must reckon with the guilty secret that drove her away, then face her fear of losing her family and her sense of self forever.
 
 Set against the vibrant backdrop of contemporary Miami, Birds of Paradise is filled with piercing insights into the politics of food and sugar, teen culture, and of the ebb and flow of marriage. The writing is sumptuous, the story moving, and the descriptions of food (one of Abu-Jaber’s specialties) are mouth-watering.
Released:
Sep 6, 2011
ISBN:
9781611745788
Format:
Audiobook

About the author



Reviews

What people think about Birds of Paradise

3.2
81 ratings / 19 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    This is full of vivid imagery and has a poetic feel, yet the story felt flat and I wasn't drawn to the characters. The best part of this story was the wonderful food descriptions. My mouth watered and I could almost smell them.
  • (5/5)
    Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber, is about a family in Miami with a run-away daughter. It looks at things from the perspective of each of the family members, what they're doing, how they're feeling. The characters are human and likeable and I found I really cared about what was happening to them. I found the end a bit disappointing but otherwise it's a great read.
  • (2/5)
    I received the audio version of this book as an Early Reviewer. I have to confess, it was difficult to invest in the story as the author seemed to take endless time painting a picture with intricate details with a myriad of characters that I couldn't connect to. By the time I got to disc 5 of 10, I wasn't sure whether to throw in the towel or hold out to see if the author was going to redeem herself in the end... the jury is still out.
  • (4/5)
    Mesmerizing, beautifully written book of family, loss and reconciliation. Abu-Jaber is a very sensual writer, bringing the reader into the lives of the Muir family and the heat and clamour of Miami. Solange and her bird were fascinating characters and I wished they hadn't disappeared - I wanted to know more.
  • (3/5)
    In pulsing, steamy, half Latin Miami, some unspeakable thing happens to 13 year old Felice Muir and she disappears from her family, fleeing to live on the streets. Her mother, a talented pastry chef, her father, a successful business man and her brother, a regular good kid are baffled and heartbroken, clueless about what drove Felice to the streets and helpless to get her back. On Felice's 18th birthday a storm sweeps through Miami precipitating events that will either bring Felice and her family back together or tear them apart forever.Birds of Paradise is packed with Abu-Jaber's trademark, mouthwatering food descriptions and the lush, and foreign feeling Miami landscape. Yet somehow these descriptions don't flow with the plot making for a jarring feel. Normally I fall in love with her characters and tear through the story to find out what befalls them. In this story I found myself uninterested in their plight and not particularly liking any of them. There was no connection for me, I didn't feel like I knew them or understood their motivations. I won't recommend this book to anyone, but I'll still pick up Diana Abu-Jaber's next in hopes that I'll find those characters I love have returned.I listened to the audio version of Birds of Paradise narrated by Tamara Marston. Her cool, even voice contributed to my feeling of disconnection with the characters.
  • (5/5)
    Felice Muir was 13 when she first ran away from home. No apologies, no explanations. Her parents, Avis and Brian, and her older brother, Stan, were heartsick, imagining the worst. She did return home but only to run away again and again until she finally stayed away for good. Felice eventually made a deal with her mother that if they didn't try to find her and drag her home, she would allow occasional contact. Avis agreed to this plan, but Brian and Stan washed their hands of Felice. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Felice's voluntary absence has torn a huge hole in the fabric of the Muir family and that the remaining family members have found comfort in their work: Avis as a world-class pastry chef, Brian as a corporate attorney for a real estate developer, and Stan as the owner of an organic-foods market. Not so clear is why Felice feels the need to to live on the dangerous streets and beaches of Miami Beach as a teenage vagrant instead of in her comfortable home in Coral Gables with her loving family. As Felice's 18th birthday approaches along with a hurricane headed straight for Miami, those reasons are explained and are much more complicated than simple teenage rebellion. This is a story with numerous interesting and complicated characters and a feel-good ending, without being too sappy, that gives the reader some sense of closure regarding the Muir family. Excellent book. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy family fiction.