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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Literary
  • Language:English
  • Pages:378
  • eBook ISBN:9780996408813

Another Day, Otro Día

by Kathleen E. Suits-Smith

Book Image Not Available
Overview
In rural upstate New York, Peggy Stewart turns to the world of undocumented migrant labor to maintain their dairy farm when her husband, Frank, begins to lose his battle with cancer. Through her connection with the milk company, Almarío Santiago Lopez, "Río", arrives early one morning confronted by Peggy's fears, prejudices, and scanty Spanish. He rapidly becomes a valued worker and trusted friend to Peggy. Through Río and other members of his family that arrive, Peggy learns the shocking realities of migrant life in America. Though Peggy acquires a new strength of character and empowerment, she also suffers hateful comments from neighbors and even from Frank who opposes the Mexican worker. Her feelings for Río grow and the realities of her compromised marriage become apparent. More problems arise. The cows must be sold. Peggy learns of Frank's affair with a neighbor. Peggy and Río grapple with feelings of love and separation.
Description
Set in rural upstate New York, Peggy Stewart turns to the world of undocumented migrant labor to maintain their dairy farm when her husband, Frank, begins to lose his battle with cancer. She can no longer continue to take care of her husband and the farm all by herself. The American labor pool for manual farm labor is too often filled with petty criminals, which leaves her no other option if she is to continue farming to pay their bills. Through her connection with the milk company, Almarío Santiago Lopez, “Río”, arrives early one morning confronted by Peggy’s fears, prejudices, and scanty Spanish. After a rocky start, he rapidly becomes a valued worker and trusted friend to Peggy. As other members of Río's family arrive to briefly stay with him, Peggy learns about Mexican culture and values. Peggy is shocked to hear the horrendous stories of crossing the Border between the US and Mexico. She is amazed how migrant workers must live. Hiring a Mexican worker brings a flood of neighborhood gossip and criticism of Peggy. As she endures the hateful comments, even from Frank who is against the Mexican worker, Peggy acquires a new strength of character, self-awareness, and empowerment. Her feelings for Río grow and the realities of her compromised marriage become apparent. Río is a source of strength as Peggy’s life unravels.
About the author
Kathleen E. Suits-Smith has a background in agriculture, education, and writing. She is a life-long resident of upstate New York where she grew up on a dairy farm. This family farm is now used to raise a rare breed of cattle called Dexters. Kathleen is a retired teacher, with over thirty years of experience on the high school level. For nearly a decade, she has worked in migrant education as an ESL teacher, and an educational and medical advocate for migrant workers and their families. Information for writing Another Day, Otro Día was gleaned from stories Kathleen has heard from the many migrant workers with whom she has had contact. In 2011, Kathleen visited families of migrants who had returned to Oaxaca, Mexico. While there she was fortunate to be taken into the mountains to see the pueblos where indigenous Mexicans have lived for centuries. Kathleen’s Spanish did her little good while visiting mountain villages since all conversations were in Mixteco, the language of that particular region of Mexico. Kathleen’s previous writing experience includes advertising, a weekly newspaper column, poetry, and feature articles for agricultural and independent-living magazines. As this novel has done for those who have already read it, Kathleen hopes that future readers will gain a new awareness and understanding of the shocking realities of migrant life in the US. It is her highest hope that this book will make a positive difference in the lives of migrant workers.
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