With the passing of a new state law, it becomes a felony to harbor an undocumented immigrant in Oklahoma. So when Robert John Brown, a churchgoing family man and respected community member, is caught hiding a barnful of migrant workers with no papers, he is arrested and sent to prison. Meanwhile, his ten-year-old grandson Dustin tries to help the sole escapee of the raid reunite with his family, and his granddaughter, Misty, is struggling to raise her daughter alone after her husband, an illegal immigrant himself, has been deported. Then there's Brown's daughter Sweet, who finds her life unraveling: her father is refusing to speak in court to defend himself, her nephew is missing, her niece is in need of shelter, and the stress of it all is destroying her marriage.
Rilla Askew's brilliant, hilarious, and heartfelt novel follows a handful of complicated lawmakers and lawbreakers as workers are exiled, friends turn informers, and families are torn apart in a statewide exodus of Hispanics. In the end, Kind of Kin reveals how an ad hoc family, and an entire town, will unite to do anything necessary to protect its own.
"Although the sections narrated by Dustin sometimes miss the mark, whenever Sweet or Monica are front and center, this novel is rich, rewarding, and humane." - Publishers Weekly
"Askew deftly weaves together a narrative that foregrounds a number of important contemporary issues: religion, immigration, the economy and the effect of all of these on family life." - Kirkus Reviews
"Kind of Kin is a kind of miracle. The character Sweet is an American original, doing her best to hold the family she loves together while trying not to fall apart. A winner." - Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife
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Rilla Askew received a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the author of four novels, has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and is a three-time recipient of the Oklahoma Book Award.
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