by Martin, September 8, 2011 12:15 PM
Readers of her first four books already know Diana Abu-Jaber is a delightful, engaging storyteller. But with her new novel about a teenage runaway and the family she leaves behind, Abu-Jaber has truly come into her own. It's not a criticism to say that Birds of Paradise has more depth than her earlier work. Her characters are no more realized, the language no more lyrical, but the complexity of the emotional maze through which she sets her dogged cast of misfits and the subtlety of insight with which she illuminates their stories are truly breathtaking.