Synopsis from Goodreads:
Tatiana “Pluta” Spektor was a mostly happy, if awkward, young girl—until her sociologist father was disappeared during Argentina’s Dirty War. Sent a world away by her grieving mother to attend boarding school outside New York City, Pluta wrestles alone with the unresolved tragedy and at last runs away: to the streets of Brooklyn in 1980, where she figuratively—and literally—spreads her wings. Told with haunting fabulist imagery by debut novelist Anca L. Szilágyi, this searing tale of love, loss, estrangement, and coming of age is an unflinching exploration of the personal devastation wrought by political repression.
I am sure that many people will fall in love with the beautiful imagery of “Daughters of the Air.” However, it was not my personal favorite. The story failed to draw me, and I contribute that largely to the story feeling underdeveloped. What actions were the radical professors taking against the government? What were they saying to get them arrested? What led to Daniel’s arrest? What threats did Lolo perceive? What about life at the boarding school made Pluta want to escape so bad? What did the doctors/nurses think when they saw the wings? Did they believe they were wings? What happened with Isabelle and Pluta afterward? I kept reading thinking these questions would eventually be answered, but none were.
My second complaint is a pure personal preference. I can’t stomach books with in-depth descriptions of child rape. I know it was consensual, but I still don’t enjoy reading about it in detail. I had to put down “All The Ugly and Wonderful Things” for the same reason, and it’s storyline was compelling. Since I was already struggling with “Daughters of the Air,” that storyline turned me off to the rest of the book. I finished it, but I got very close to stopping.
I can appreciate Szilagyi’s beautiful descriptions throughout the book, but unfortunately this book just didn’t connect with me. I’d rate it 2/5 stars.