Kind of Kin (Paperback)
January 2013 Indie Next List
“The nature of this wonderful novel set in small-town Oklahoma is like its characters -- raucous, messy, uncertain, and foolishly brave. After a surprise immigration raid on Mexicans that scoops up even some respected citizens, everyone struggles to understand where they stand and how to act. This is a large, kind-hearted story of less than perfect folks caught in a maelstrom while still trying to abide by their ethical and spiritual beliefs. Askew's story is a most timely look at who is welcome into our lives and how we express and share compassion even when times are tough and language is a barrier.”
— Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, CA
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 undocumented 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.