Return to Sender
by Julia Alvarez (audiobook)
About the Book
After Tyler’s father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. Tyler isn’t sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented? And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected her American life. Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences?
In a novel full of hope, but no easy answers, Julia Alvarez weaves a beautiful and timely story that will stay with readers long after they finish it.
I actually picked this up in the young adult section at my library because I saw Alvarez’s name on the audiobook jacket. I had just finished reading In the Time of Butterflies also from the author. This audiobook is read by two actors who give voice to Tyler and Mari (pronounced like Mary).
I appreciated the commentary on the life of the migrant worker and also the blurred lines when children of the immigrants are born in the US. Some of the families have citizenship and some do not. No matter your stance on immigration policy, this is a real issue of our times.
What I didn’t realize when I picked this title up is that it’s set in Vermont, a state I am familiar with. At one point in the book they discuss Italian immigrants to Vermont who came to work in the granite industry…this is my family’s story. (Though they migrated legally.)
In the story, the mother is separated from the father and her children. I thought for sure I knew what the title meant for the family, but I was glad that the title actually had a different meaning in the end.
Purchase Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez from my affiliate Amazon.
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Links to bookstores are affiliate links and are provided so that you can find the books easily. I personally utilize the public library quite a bit, especially for audiobooks and fiction. Please read the disclosure statement regarding affiliate links. Book descriptions are taken directly from the book or from online sources.