Serafina is an illegal migrant worker living in California when the police catch her and send her back to Mexico–without her three-year old daughter. Twelve years later, with a pair of silver barrettes her only tangible memory of Elvia, Serafina begins a harrowing journey back across the border to find her daughter. At the same time Elvia, now fifteen and pregnant, resolves to track her mother down. They travel a landscape populated by desperately poor migrants moving from harvest to harvest, truckers living hand-to-mouth in seedy motels, and lost children in foster homes. But the memory of love inspires hope, and out of these women’s losses–and their determination–Straight has crafted a deeply moving tale of the meaning of home and family.
Susan Straight's novels include I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots, Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights, and The Gettin Place. Her work has appeared in Harper's, Salon.com, Reader's Digest, and other leading periodicals. She was born in Riverside, California, and lives there with her three daughters.
“Her gallery of misfits reminds one of Flannery O’Connor’s–but with a dash of sympathy and human goodness.”–The Washington Post Book World
“An eye-opener of a novel, a road map to the real California. Straight turns headlines into poetry.” – The New York Times Book Review
“Packed with the kind of detail about people, places and emotions that transport the reader to a different world.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“One of America’s gutsiest writers … a polyglot with an astonishing ear for how people really talk in places we hardly remember they are living.” — The Baltimore Sun