Mother Tongue

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A love story. A journey in search of self. A meditation on our frightening times. With Mother Tongue, Demetria Martnez gives us all these and more, in an unforgettable novel infused with the color, sunlight, and cool shadows of the world her two lovers inhabit. Told in the cadences of a poet, with the unsparing honesty of a woman looking back on the most important decision of her life, the events in Mother Tongue unfold with the urgency, the inevitability, of destiny.
Mary is nineteen and living alone in Albuquerque. Adrift in the wake of her mother's death, she longs for something meaningful to take her over. Vulnerable to love and game for anything, Mary knows she has found the other part of herself when Jose Luis enters her life.
A refugee from El Salvador and its vicious and bloody civil war, Jos Luis has been smuggled to the United States as part of the sanctuary movement that is attempting to expose the plight of thousands of citizens being harassed, tortured, and disappeared by a United States-supported military government.
Mary cannot help but fall in love with the movement and the man who represents it for her--his strength, his sadness, and the life he has left behind. And little by little, she begins to reveal to Jos Luis the hope that always lives in love. Though violent times conspire against Mary's dreams, she is about to lay claim to a part of herself she has never known.


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