In the tropical paradise that is Miami, Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years of modeling tattoos, skateboarding, clubbing, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach, Felice is about to turn eighteen. Her family-Avis, an exquisitely talented pastry chef; Brian, a corporate real estate attorney; and her brother, Stanley, the proprietor of Freshly Grown, a trendy food market-will each be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal. Meanwhile, Felice must reckon with the guilty secret that drove her away, and must face her fear of losing her family and her sense of self forever.
This multilayered novel about a family that comes apart at the seams-and finds its way together again-is totally involving and deeply satisfying, a glorious feast of a book.
Diana Abu-Jaber's astounding fourth novel (after ORIGIN and CRESCENT) concerns a family in a protracted crisis, and with sensitivity she illuminates their complex coping mechanisms and the emotional ripple effects. When she was 13 years old, Felice Muir ran away from home. She lives not far from her parents' upper-middle-class home in Miami, but she is more than out of reach. Occasionally, torturously she will grace her parents with a visit, dangling them along. Meanwhile Avis and Brian do their best to cope, throwing themselves into their work. Brian is a real estate lawyer, whose company exists in the thick of the 2005 real estate bubble, while Avis works as an artisanal pastry chef whose sculptural dessert creations provide an opportunity for Abu-Jaber to deploy her well-respected command of culinary description. At the at the epicenter of this storm is Felice, and Abu-Jaber, who ran away herself at the age of 15, gets inside the elusive motivations of this teen. Through the characters' experiences, the novel also expands to evoke the rich culture and urban geography of Miami, and the effects when Hurricane Katrina strikes.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Human Qualities + Behavior, Family + Friendship, General, Types of Characters, Psychology
- September 6, 2011
- September 6, 2011
- Diana Abu-Jaber