I am so glad I finally got this to load on my Kindle. I didn’t think I would get a chance to read it but I did and I am glad.
This is a story about a family who escapes Mexico during The Spanish Flu. Having lost three children already, the thought of losing any more is so much worse than giving up their home and the life they know.
The family become migrant workers to survive and when Sofia is still a young girl, her mothers death causes her father to make the heart-breaking choice to send her to her Aunt. He has not spoken to his sister in many years but Sofia’s father knows that this is the only chance Sofia will have at a decent life.
Sofia is not welcomed by her aunt and becomes more of a servant in the household than family. Her life is lonely and hard and when she meets the handsome Enrique, she is overwhelmed by his attention. However, when she becomes pregnant with his child, he abandons her.
Left with no choices, Sofia decides to go with Carlos, a migrant worker heading to California, in order to gain protection for her and her child.
The story from here chronicles the harsh lifestyle of a family of migrant workers. Back-breaking work and poor living conditions. Most times children are put to work in the fields as soon as possible never gaining the advantage of an education. Sofia ensures her daughter Eva will go to school but Carlos has no affection for the daughter that isn’t his and as time progresses he drinks more and gets more and more abusive toward Sofia and the rest of the growing family.
Having grown up in California, in a community where the migrant population is prevelant year round, I have met families with this type of history. The struggle is real even now. Those of us who have never experienced the type of hard work and poor treatment that these migrant workers still experience can count ourselves very lucky. Although I was raised by a single mom and lived close to the poverty line growing up, I was pampered in comparison. I have never worked a hard day in my life. Several of my friends spent their summers and weekends picking strawberries while I enjoyed socializing and lazing about. The story brought memories back to me and I wish I understood then what I do now, we owe so much to these people who do the hard work it takes to get produce to our tables.
This story is very poignant. I felt that the narrative seemed a bit unemotional for such emotional events but was still touched by this story.
Here is the book Summary:Northern Mexico in 1918 was a dangerous place to live. The Spanish Flu pandemic was ravaging village after village. Young Sofía’s parents decided to take what was left of their family and brave a perilous night crossing into the United States, hoping to save the lives of their remaining children. They did not anticipate the hardships that lay ahead of them.
After a family tragedy, Sofía was sent to live with a well-to-do aunt in Phoenix. Sofía’s father assumed this was for the best, but in truth it plunged her into a life of servitude and relationships with the wrong men. Hungry for love, her relationship with Enrique led to a daughter, Eva, born out of wedlock.
When Enrique abandons them, Carlos comes to her rescue. But when Carlos tries to convince Sofía to go west with him, to work the fields of California, she is torn. Weighing her options, she has no choice but to go with him. Her life unfolds in a series of highs and lows, her daughter by her side. When life becomes dangerous and unbearable, will Eva and her boyfriend be able to save Sofía, or will Sofía become the savior?
This poignant and gripping drama plays out from 1918 to 1960, and is full of love and heartbreak, prejudice and betrayal, lovers, friends and family. It is inspired by the true stories written in Debra Burroughs’ book CARMEN.