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Highwire Moon

About the Book

Highwire Moon

Serafina Mendez, a Mexican Indian, is fifteen when she sneaks across the border into California looking for work. Only days after she gets a job at Angeles Linen, immigration officials sweep through the laundry in search of illegal workers. Larry Foley, a handsome truck driver, comes to her rescue. He gives her a home and fathers Elvia, a child Serafina raises with a fierce, unrestrained love. Larry's mockery of her peasant ways and strange language, along with his drug binges and frequent disappearances, finally force Serafina to flee with Elvia. Stopping at a church to seek guidance from the saints, Serafina is seized by the police, and, unable to explain that she has left her three-year-old daughter in her car, is summarily deported. After twelve long years she makes the treacherous journey back to California in hopes of holding her child once again.

Elvia spends her childhood moving from one foster home to another, until Larry suddenly appears to reclaim her. But Larry's desire to be a good father is not enough to temper his wayward impulses or defeat his personal demons, and when Elvia becomes pregnant at fifteen, she is determined to find the mother she believes intentionally abandoned her so long ago. Her search takes her to the slums of Tijuana and to the grim camps of migrant workers on this side of the border, places still steeped in the violence and desperation described so powerfully by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath.

Nominated for the National Book Award, Highwire Moon is an illuminating journey into the dark corners of American life and into the hearts and minds of the people trapped in the shadows.

Highwire Moon
by Susan Straight

  • Publication Date: October 8, 2002
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN-10: 0385722613
  • ISBN-13: 9780385722612