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For 14 years Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children - Alex, now 15, and Luna, six - in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty's parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.
Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents, and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she's worked for and her family's fragile hopes for the future.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kaycee on 08-23-15
Worth the time, overall good
I LOVED the author's first book. I didn't like this one at first; it felt too negative & depressing. I couldn't identify with Letty, because she kept making so many appalling choices....she wasn't likable to me. No mother needs to be perfect, but as a mother myself, I always have tried to do what was best for my kids. I haven't been perfect because that's not possible, and kids are resilient. But I don't understand any parent whose primary motive isn't the thought of what is best for their kids. But then Letty began to grow as a mother, and did begin to make choices based on what was best for her kids. I liked the second half or so of the book, and look forward to the author's next book. I like stories that are "real life," which include the hard parts of life, but which see the characters growing and having hope for the future. I think this book would appeal most to women who have made serious mistakes but then turned their lives around.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Courtney on 08-27-15
Good Story -Excellent narration
I'm not a big fan of fiction but occasionally something catches my eye and I buy with my fingers crossed. This book did not disappoint.
Leddy, a Mexican American girl with a promising future ends up a single mother of two kids-both being raised by her own mother while she works dead end jobs and and fails to launch her own life. Then her parents move back to Mexico and here the story really takes off. The characters were well-developed and real. The story tackles the real life issues facing undocumented immigrants and first generation Americans. The plot is thick with twists and turns and does not have the predictability and implausibility in so much fiction I have read. Narration is done in the woman's voice and her older son which keeps things interesting.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful