More Than Allies - Sandra Scofield
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Maggie came to scenic little Lupine, Oregon, to live as a foster child in the Jarrett home. Thirteen years later, she’s a legitimate member of the family, living in the back yard cottage with two children. Her husband, Mo, has moved on to Texas in search of opportunity. He wants Maggie and their children to follow, but she is mired in indecision. Her baby’s a handful and her 9-year-old son, Jay-Jay, is in such trouble at school they want to put him in the “anger group.” She seeks comfort and advice from her friends, but her problems and theirs don’t seem to be occurring in the same universe. Even Polly, then foster-mother, now mother-in-law, seems to be slipping away. She’s talking about taking in an infant with special needs. Where does that leave Maggie and her kids? Nearby, Dulce Quirarte lives a separate life, the last person with whom Maggie would think she has anything in common. Dulce cleans houses, makes beds in a motel, and dreams. Cut off in all ways from her family and her culture, she gives in to the magic of Spanish only in her sleep. Her real life is a matter of survival. Her son Gus—a classmate of Jay’s—is fast becoming a complicated person all his own. He wants to know why he’s a Mexican who doesn’t speak Spanish and never sees any family but his mother. Besides, his father Gustavo has been paroled to his parents’ dairy farm in Texas, and he wants a family, or at least his son. Querida, he writes: I ask you with humility and love, be open. Doesn’t he know how closed she’s had to be to live an independent life? But then, isn’t her most vivid dream of him? As spring unfolds into summer, marriage, motherhood, and friendship are all reconsidered. Below the surface of a quaint, hip town, real lives are led, and two women transcend the boundaries of class and culture to forge an alliance that will enrich both their lives.