A personal message from the author:

Bird of Paradise came about in a rather unique way. After being diagnosed with stage-4 cancer, my mom began writing Bird of Paradise as a life gift. In 2012, she passed away leaving the book unfinished. She left a letter asking me to finish her story with my own. I did and Bird of Paradise was published on what would have been her 71st birthday.

— Emily Hughes Johnson

Lush emerald-green jungles, gentle breezes perfumed by jasmine and gardenia, crystalline cascading waters, and a sparkling turquoise lagoon. Gently bobbing boats and the rich Island cultures of the past meet the present. Regardless of where she was, she was never truly home until she felt the sun-toasted sands of the Island under her feet.    

The Heywood family has lived all over the world. Arianna, a Heywood daughter, is mature far beyond her age. But that doesn’t mean she does not love Friday night football games, senior high dances and the butterfly inducing anticipation of will he or won’t he kiss her. On the cusp of graduation, Ari is looking forward to joining her older sister at UC Berkeley (it is the 1960s after all) and she dreams of one day sipping Bellinis with her love in Italy.

He was her innocent childhood crush. She, on the other hand, was more like his kid sister. But Ari is no longer a little girl, and when a spring break visit to the Island reveals that his feelings have changed, Ari is eager to step into the world of womanhood. But as many things go, you cannot always choose what happens in life. Embarking on a decade-long journey of self-discovery, Ari works to find her place in the world, torn between the pull of her Island and the possibility of what lies beyond. Guided by the wisdom of those who came before her, Ari must bridge the gap between her past and the story of her future, but an unexpected encounter may change it all. They say some love stories are meant to last forever. Will this be one of them?


Read online Bird of Paradise by Marilyn Anne Hughes and Emily Hughes Johnson

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