Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
A Novel

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Synopsis

“A full-course meal, a rich, complex and memorable story that will leave you lingering gratefully at [Abu-Jaber’s] table.”—Ron Charles, Washington Post


At thirteen, Felice Muir ran away from home to punish herself for some horrible thing she had done—leaving a hole in the hearts of her pastry-chef mother, her real estate attorney father, and her foodie-entrepreneurial brother. After five years of scrounging for food, drugs, and shelter on Miami Beach, Felice is now turning eighteen, and she and the family she left behind must reckon with the consequences of her actions—and make life-affirming choices about what matters to them most, now and in the future.
 

About Diana Abu-Jaber

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Diana Abu-Jaber is the award-winning author of Origin, Crescent, Arabian Jazz, and The Language of Baklava. Her writing has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Ms., Salon, Vogue, Gourmet, the New York Times, The Nation, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. She divides her time between Coral Gables, Florida, and Portland, Oregon.
 
Published September 6, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 384 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Birds of Paradise

The New York Times

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In the end, the indisputable stars of “Birds of Paradise” are Felice and Miami itself, with its obliterating light, its “perfumed flames” of vegetation, the grand theater of its skies, its “running currents of Spanish.” Miami and Felice mirror each other, getting under our skin, making us sweat t...

Sep 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

The New York Times

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In the end, the indisputable stars of “Birds of Paradise” are Felice and Miami itself, with its obliterating light, its “perfumed flames” of vegetation, the grand theater of its skies, its “running currents of Spanish.” Miami and Felice mirror each other, getting under our skin, making us sweat t...

Sep 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

NPR

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It depicts the complicated life of a family in Miami whose daughter runs away at 15.

Dec 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

Examiner

As public schools across the nation settle into their fall routines, statistics on youth suicide weigh heavy.

Sep 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

Washington Independent Review of Books

Although Brian knows Felice won’t show for the birthday meeting, Brian and Avis can’t discuss it.

| Read Full Review of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

Tampa Bay Times

She has contacted her mother and consented to meet at a cafe, and Avis has spent three days creating an intricate batch of gingembre en cristal, Felice's favorite cookie — even though experience suggests her daughter might not even show up.

Sep 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

Salon

If you ask me whether it is worth your while to read Stephen King instead of (or even in addition to) scores of other better contemporary writers you may have never read (and should hurry up and read before you die), I would say no, unless you are maybe fifteen and have made it clear to your teac...

Jul 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Agnes Torres Al-Shibibi St. Petersburg Times 4 of 5 Stars "Abu-Jaber writes with wit and insight about her range of characters, and her sharp observation of setting makes Miami another character in the novel, from the sleek downtown high rises to the glimmering thump of the SoBe clubs, from ...

Sep 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

Elle

Particularly well done is Felice herself—squatting in an abandoned mansion with fellow teens, passing days on the beach, developing a sweetly wholesome relationship with a shaven-headed fellow street kid named Emerson, and squandering long nights on the strip, where "rental cars ease down the str...

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Birds of Paradise: A Novel

Reader Rating for Birds of Paradise
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