Anchor, Paperback, 9780385722612, 320pp.
Publication Date: October 8, 2002
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.
“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