We Never Asked for Wings
By Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Ballentine Books, 2015. 299 pgs. Fiction
Sometimes in life we are put in situations that force us to stretch and grow and become more than we thought possible. This is the case for Letty Espinosa. She had a promising future but became a teenage mother and soon finds herself working multiple jobs to support her family here and those back in Mexico. Her efficient mother takes care of everything so that Letty never has to really learn to be a mother or a homemaker. One day her parents decide to return to Mexico and leave her alone to learn how to care for her children. She is very tempted to run away and she is pretty sure she is the worst choice to raise her own children. Her son Alex is 15 and in many ways is more responsible than his mother, but he too is struggling with finding his way in the world and the limitations put on him by society.
This novel tackles a lot of tough topics like teenage pregnancy, poverty, immigration and the American Dream. This book gave me a glimpse into a way of life that many people struggle with here in America. It is amazingly difficult to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty, especially as immigrants, some documented and others not. I liked that this book made me stop and think about many of the advantages I take for granted on a daily basis. This would be a great book for a book club to read and discuss.