Of Women and Salt: A Novel
When people hear the terms immigration, asylum, or deportation, they often have a single story in mind to justify their feelings on the topic. But as Garcia’s novel Of Women and Salt achingly shows us, these stories are more complicated and tragic than we will ever understand in a two-minute sound bite.
Jeanette, a young woman battling addiction, briefly takes in a young girl, Ana, when her mother is deported. Jeanette’s mother, Carmen, herself an immigrant from Cuba, encourages Jeanette to turn the girl over to the police. What follows are alternating stories from each woman and some of their family members on the choices they had to make to survive and hope their children could thrive. Tracing journeys from Cuba and El Salvador to the United States, the reader learns of all their sacrifices––how much they loved their children, how they helped them so much and also helped them so little.
Garcia’s prose is descriptive but spare. She presents each character’s situation without judgement and allows the reader to grapple with the ramifications. In many ways, this approach is more powerful than using a lot of editorializing. This book has stayed with me for a long time and I think it will with any reader. It asks the questions that are the hardest to answer, but we must answer them.
|Page Count||224 pages|
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