Highwire Moon

( 6 )

Overview

Serafina is an illegal migrant worker living in California when the police catch her and send her back to Mexico–without her three-year old daughter. Twelve years later, with a pair of silver barrettes her only tangible memory of Elvia, Serafina begins a harrowing journey back across the border to find her daughter. At the same time Elvia, now fifteen and pregnant, resolves to track her mother down. They travel a landscape populated by desperately poor migrants moving from harvest to harvest, truckers living ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (38) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $17.95   
  • Used (36) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$17.95
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(1011)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
0385722613 All inventory in stock Orders are shipped daily

Ships from: Pennington, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$58.77
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(213)

Condition: New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Highwire Moon: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
(Save 33%)$14.99 List Price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

Serafina is an illegal migrant worker living in California when the police catch her and send her back to Mexico–without her three-year old daughter. Twelve years later, with a pair of silver barrettes her only tangible memory of Elvia, Serafina begins a harrowing journey back across the border to find her daughter. At the same time Elvia, now fifteen and pregnant, resolves to track her mother down. They travel a landscape populated by desperately poor migrants moving from harvest to harvest, truckers living hand-to-mouth in seedy motels, and lost children in foster homes. But the memory of love inspires hope, and out of these women’s losses–and their determination–Straight has crafted a deeply moving tale of the meaning of home and family.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Her gallery of misfits reminds one of Flannery O’Connor’s–but with a dash of sympathy and human goodness.”–The Washington Post Book World

“An eye-opener of a novel, a road map to the real California. Straight turns headlines into poetry.” – The New York Times Book Review

“Packed with the kind of detail about people, places and emotions that transport the reader to a different world.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“One of America’s gutsiest writers … a polyglot with an astonishing ear for how people really talk in places we hardly remember they are living.” — The Baltimore Sun

Publishers Weekly
There's much to admire in Straight's (I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots) heartrending, take-no-prisoners fourth novel, which returns to the fictional California town of Rio Seco to expose the horrific dangers facing migrant farm workers and explore how families are created and sustained. The author's dramatic powers are best displayed in the novel's harrowing opening scene, in which a Mexican Indian mother, Serafina, is separated from her toddler daughter, Elvia, and forcibly taken back to Mexico without her. Fifteen years later, Elvia, a tough-talking pregnant teenager, fights her way out of crippling poverty, drug abuse and dysfunction to find her mother. Elvia's travels are interlaced with Serafina's simultaneous agonizing trek back from Mexico. Straight portrays this world in imagery that can be quite poetic: "California was full of saints, all dead, the green freeway signs like their tombstones." But the language can also be unconvincing, as when Serafina prays for the Virgin Mary to "wrap an invisible blanket of bubbles around Elvia, each dimple of air full of exhaled love." The novel relies on some hard-to-swallow plot points: it's difficult to believe that Serafina could have stayed away so long, or that she and Elvia would set out to look for each other at the exact same time. As a novelist, Straight is unswervingly focused on the intersections of love, race, class and violence; despite its flaws, this is an engrossing demonstration of her dedication to that vision. (Aug. 8) Forecast: Some reviewers have been uncomfortable with Straight's focus, as a white writer, on black characters. Sales of her last two books were disappointing, but there is a chance thatthis one which takes off in a slightly different direction (though it embraces a similar social agenda) may do better. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
Elvia remembered seeing the "highwire moon" from Sandy Narlette's laundry room window, the moon that sat on the telephone wire, balanced, seemingly able from that point to alter its course and move in an entirely different direction. This image remained in Elvia's mind long after she left Sandy's foster home to return to her father, who loved her but could not provide her with a stable home life. Elvia's mother, Serafina Estrella Soloria-Mendez, is a Mixteca Indian. Working briefly in the Angeles Linen plant, she was rescued by Larry Foley, a deliveryman, when "la migra," the immigration police, came to round up illegal aliens. He cared for her and eventually their daughter, Elvia, was born. When Elvia was three, Serafina was seized in a church parking lot by "la migra" and returned to Mexico without her daughter, who was sleeping in the nearby car. Larry and Elvia never knew what happened to her. When Elvia becomes pregnant, she is obsessed by the need to know whether her mother had abandoned her. The recurring image of the "highwire moon" represents the hope that she, like the moon, may have the ability to alter the course of her life. Suspense builds in the novel as mother and daughter independently search for each other on both sides of the border. This novel provides a sobering glimpse of the poverty, abuse and fear that define the daily life of illegal aliens and of the mutual strength and support evident in Indian and Mexican families that sustain them. Some language and dialogue is coarse, but appropriate to the realistic portrayal of the subculture of disaffected youth, those low on the economic scale, who are enslaved by drugs. A National Book Award Finalist, this is anexcellent book for adults and teens. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Doubleday, Anchor, 306p., Allison
Library Journal
Illegal alien Serafina has found some measure of happiness until she is forcibly separated from beloved daughter Elvia and sent back to Mexico. Eventually, the teenaged Elvia will go there to hunt her out. From the award-winning author of I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A gritty portrait of poor Mexican immigrants and of low-life drug abusers in LA, softened by the boundless love of a mother for her daughter and a daughter determined to find her mother. Teens will encounter brutality and suffering here, but also a realistic picture of the struggles of illegal immigrants, of the horrors of migrant labor, and of a southern California far from the glitter and wealth of Hollywood. Serafina, an illegal alien who speaks only Mixtec, is caught by police in the car she attempts to drive to a market to buy food. Her three-year-old daughter, Elvia, crouched under the dashboard, is overlooked as Serafina screams in her language. Serafina is deported, and Elvia is put in foster care, eventually with Sandy, a loving foster mother. Unluckily, her father, a trucker and occasional drug user, finds her and her life becomes a series of motel rooms. At 15, a pregnant Elvia takes off in her father's pickup truck to find her mother; at the same time, Serafina finally finds the money and the courage to reenter California in search of her daughter. Elvia eventually finds a refuge with Sandy, but Serafina's life is a series of migrant farm camps in the company of Florencio, who loves her and tries to protect her. With Sandy's help, the story ends with the promise of reconciliation.-Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Straight (I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots, 1992, etc.) paints a bleak yet not hopeless landscape as a young girl and her mother, separated by happenstance 12 years earlier, search for each other among the down-and-out of southern California. When immigration authorities pick up Mexican-Indian Serafina, the 18-year-old lacks enough English to explain that her 3-year-old daughter, Elvia, is asleep in a car parked nearby. Elvia, the child of Serafina and an itinerant Anglo worker, passes through a series of foster homes before her long-term placement with a nurturing surrogate mother. She's happily ensconced there when her father Larry, himself the product of foster homes, shows up and reclaims her. Larry's undeniably redeeming characteristic is his sense of parental responsibility; he spent years tracking Elvia down. But he is also a loser and speed-freak. Elvia becomes involved with Michael, an orphaned Native American whose sweet dreaminess masks his dangerous attraction to speed and hallucinogens. Pregnant at 15 and afraid to tell her father, Elvia's longing for her birth mother, always simmering, boils over. She steals Larry's truck to look for Serafina, or at least for clues to why Serafina abandoned her. Meanwhile, Serafina has never lost hope of reuniting with her daughter. When first deported, she immediately tries to sneak back across the border but is badly beaten and returns to her hometown in southern Mexico, where filial obligation demands she remain to care for her sick mother. Once her mother dies and Serafina's brother sends money from California, she endures extreme hardship to cross back into the States. In the town where they had lived as a familyyears before, Elvia and Serafina conduct separate searches for each other. Almost crossing paths, each finds familial love in unexpected places. Strong physical detail and a carefully rendered cast mostly overcome long stretches of talky description and occasional slips into sentimentality.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385722612
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/8/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Straight's novels include I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots, Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights, and The Gettin Place. Her work has appeared in Harper's, Salon.com, Reader's Digest, and other leading periodicals. She was born in Riverside, California, and lives there with her three daughters.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Serafina is an illegal migrant worker living in California when the police catch her and send her back to Mexico–without her three-year old daughter. Twelve years later, with a pair of silver barrettes her only tangible memory of Elvia, Serafina begins a harrowing journey back across the border to find her daughter. At the same time Elvia, now fifteen and pregnant, resolves to track her mother down. They travel a landscape populated by desperately poor migrants moving from harvest to harvest, truckers living hand-to-mouth in seedy motels, and lost children in foster homes. But the memory of love inspires hope, and out of these women’s losses–and their determination–Straight has crafted a deeply moving tale of the meaning of home and family.
Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. Why does Elvia refuse to speak when she is placed in foster care [pp. 8—10]? How do Elvia’s reactions to her foster families shed light on the emotions hidden beneath her stoic exterior?

2. Elvia “liked looking strange, like someone no one would want and no one would want to mess with” [p. 15]. Do you think this is a common attitude among children who grow up in foster homes? From what you have read about foster care and the way many children are treated, what role does the system itself play in creating this sense of alienation and defiance?

3. In explaining why he finally comes for Elvia, Larry says, “I got un-lost” [p. 14]. What insights does this explanation and other conversations Elvia and Larry have about Serafina [p. 67, for example] offer into Larry’s image of himself and his approach to life? Do his actions in the novel support or belie the advice he gives Elvia: “Don’t set yourself up. Don’t expect anything. Ever” [p. 68]? Does the story of his own childhood make it easier to understand both his good intentions and his inability to stick to them?

4. What draws Elvia to Michael? In what ways is he similar to her father? Is Michael better able to cope with his situation (“Half Mexican, half Indian. Half the year here, half in Dos Arroyos” [p. 24]) than she is, and if so, why?

5. What is the significance of Elvia’s interest in geology? Why is her collection of stones so important to her?

6. During her travels with Michael and Hector, Elvia comes to realize that “Michael was good at dreams. But Hector was good at the rest of life” [p. 174]. Discuss how the author conveys this distinction, not only in descriptions of their behavior but also through the observations they make and the stories they share with Elvia throughout the journey. What particular events or incidents demonstrate Elvia’s naiveté about the historical and cultural forces that define California’s social divisions? How does the knowledge she acquires about the dangerous, often fatal migrations of illegal workers, and her own back-breaking experience picking fruit, change her outlook on the world and her sense of her place in it?

7. Serafina makes her journey in the company of two men, Florencio and the coyote. To what extent is Florencio’s role parallel to the roles Michael and Hector play in Elvia’s journey? Does Serafina undergo changes comparable to Elvia’s?

8. The focus of the narrative alternates between Serafina and Elvia. Is this merely a device to increase the suspense of the story? What else does Straight accomplish by juxtaposing these two tales?

9. Do your feelings about the three main characters change during the course of the novel? Which of them did you find the most interesting? The most likeable?

10. Straight portrays several parent-child relationships in Highwire Moon, from Serafina’s devotion to Elvia and to her own mother when she returns to Mexico to Callie’s blatant and sometimes dangerous neglect of Jeff, to Elvia’s complicated feelings about Larry and Sandy Narlette and her longing for the mother she barely remembers. What do these different examples convey about the reality of parenthood, as well as the effects of culture and tradition on raising a child? Are any of the relationships easily classified as either “good” or “bad”?

11. Hector’s aunt says, “the one feed you, take care of you, take you to la clinica for sick, wash the clothes, who is the mother” [p. 158]. How do you think Serafina would react to this statement? How does it relate to Larry’s description of his role in Elvia’s life [p. 73], as well as his memories of his treatment of Serafina, who is just Elvia’s age when he meets her [p. 81]?

12. Elvia and Serafina visit several of the same places. Did you find this series of coincidences credible? Did you hope that the two would cross paths? What do you think would have happened if they did find each other?

13. Highwire Moon is in many ways a book about traveling: Serafina’s harrowing trek northward, Elvia’s journey to find her mother, and Larry’s restless wanderings in search of jobs and drugs. How does this motif enhance the novel’s themes? What does Highwire Moon share with other classic American novels built around journeys–for example, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road?

14. One reviewer comments, “[Straight] puts identity politics to shame. She explodes the fiction, fashionable as it now is, that white folks ‘get’ white folks and only black folks ‘get’ black folks and the experiences of raped women is comprehensible only to other raped women” (Christina Nehring, Washington Post Book World, 8/12/01). Do you agree with this evaluation? How does Straight capture the distinctive qualities of the various ethnic groups she writes about? Are the portraits equally convincing?

15. From the first page of the book, when Serafina feels Elvia’s “small hands fluttering like moths on her shoulders” to Elvia’s decision to get a tattoo of three moths [p. 117], references to moths, both metaphorical and literal, occur throughout the book. What do they symbolize? What other recurrent images does Straight use? Do they evoke consistent associations (either positive or negative) or do they represent the ambiguity inherent in even the most ordinary events and objects?

16. Straight includes both Spanish and Mixtec words throughout the book. What effect does this have on your experience as a reader? How does language help to define each character?

17. The title of the novel comes from a conversation between Sandy Narlette and Elvia [p. 70]. Why is the image of the moon briefly “balanced” on a wire an appropriate metaphor for the way life unfolds for Elvia and her parents?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2002

    A Lovely Story

    This is a wonderful story told with a humane touch that really brings the characters to life. Straight is a compassionate writer, and that compassion overcomes the sometimes rough prose that distracts from the story. She is a great storyteller, a pretty good writer. But it is the compassion - the genuine compassion - that makes this novel worth reading.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2001

    Moon

    Although this is not a true story the truth in this story comes from the fact that people do endure these types of hardships on a daily basis and go unnoticed. Hopefully this will open some eyes and hearts to those who read the book as it did mine.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2014

    MoonShadow's Bio ~Update 1.1.0

    <p> &Omega<_>MoonShadow<_>&Omega

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2014

    Anonymous

    No way will I buy this book! Because our country IGNORES the huge masses of ILLEGALS who keep pouring in because our leaders refuse to secure our borders just recently 2 police officers were gunned down and killed in California by a illegal so this author wants to support them?!

    0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Astris

    Gtg bye

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)