Indie Next ListSeptember 2011
Avis Muir is an architect in the kitchen, who builds acclaimed pastries from flours and fondants and candied decorations. Her husband, Brian, is a lawyer for one of the most respected developers in Miami, who helps create a new international hub of wealth and opulence. So why have they had so much trouble constructing a nuclear family? Abu-Jaber's novel of family dysfunction, cultural adaptation, and human resilience in the face of tragedy ponders the joys and limitations of family, friendship, and career with powerful results. -- Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
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.