Synopses & Reviews
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.
"This compelling, deliberate novel from Askew (The Mercy Seat), told from a rotation of voices and perspectives, delves into the lives of an Oklahoma family and community in the aftermath of new immigration legislation. Sweet Kirkendall is a smalltown wife and mother whose marriage is on autopilot; her son, Carl, is becoming a bully; and, to make matters worse, after her sister dies, her nephew, Dustin, has come to live with them. When Sweet's father is arrested for harboring undocumented workers, the pre-trial publicity and Carl's growing aggression drive Sweet to question her core values. With her father refusing to defend himself in court, and Dustin on the lam with one of the farm's illegal aliens, Sweet musters the courage to act decisively in defense of her family and against the implementation of the controversial new law. The delineation of this fictional state immigration law gets the book off to a slow start, but later Askew introduces an inspired thread about the political ambitions of the bill's sponsor, state representative Monica Moorehouse, a complex and conflicted character. 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. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In Kind of Kin
by award-winning author Rilla Askew, when a church-going, community-loved, family man is caught hiding a barn-full of illegal immigrant workers, he is arrested and sent to prison. This shocking development sends ripples through the town—dividing neighbors, causing riffs amongst his family, and spurring controversy across the state.
Using new laws in Oklahoma and Alabama as inspiration, Kind of Kin is a story of self-serving lawmakers and complicated lawbreakers, Christian principle and political scapegoating.
Rilla Askews funny and poignant novel explores what happens when upstanding people are pushed too far—and how an ad-hoc family, and ultimately, an entire town, will unite to protect its own.
About the Author
Rilla Askew received a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the author of four novels, and has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and is a three-time recipient of the Oklahoma Book Award.