Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today I am eager to share the newest book from an author I have enjoyed.  As I read the opening lines of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s lovely book We Never Asked for Wings, I was delighted to see that I was very familiar with the settings, because I live just miles from one of the places mentioned.  The themes of this book resonate with me, too.

My copy is an ARC from Amazon Vine, to be released on August 18, 2015.





Beginning:  It wasn’t too late to turn back.  Driving through the fog at a quarter past midnight, Letty waited for the exit signs that appeared without warning, willing herself to swerve off the freeway and return the way she’d come.  But at each split-second opportunity she wavered just a moment too long.  The exits came and went, and she was left with nothing but a wall of fog and the tequila in her water bottle, pushing her forward—past San Jose and Los Banos and Coalinga and through the sour cloud of Harris Ranch, accelerating until even the short length of yellow line she’d been following for over two hundred miles transformed into a rush of white.

She’d left her children.

( I lived in Coalinga for fourteen long months in the 1970s, and I am all too familiar with the heavy fogs and the “sour cloud of Harris Ranch”).


56:  “I think he likes me,” she said laughing.

“He must,” Sara said.  “In turtle-steps I think he walked about a thousand miles to see you.”

“Tortoise,” Alex corrected, not able to contain himself a second time.  “Not turtle.  It’s land-dwelling.”


Blurb:  From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.


I am ready to immerse myself in this book.  What do you think?  What are you sharing today?



  1. I think that book has the prettiest cover. So sweet. And I’m concerned about the tequila in her water bottle and the driving. Hmmm….wonder where the story will go.


  2. This is probably not a book I would have picked up, but that first sentence is a real grabber — you just HAVE to read on. And then you get to the “tequila in her water bottle” and the part about leaving the children. What a great beginning! Hope the rest of the book is that good.


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