In The Tortilla Star, Bette finds that love can come in different forms – one that unlike her professional work as an accountant, she doesn’t control, that isn’t orderly, and is highly unpredictable. Though she’s six inches taller and hasn’t gotten past Spanish 101, she relishes being drawn into a rich, passionate adventure with Marco, an undocumented immigrant. As a volunteer teaching English, she is introduced to a new culture which welcomes her into its folds of family, long-held customs, and fiestas, as well as poverty and racism. She experiences first-hand some of her students’ challenges in the U.S. and also shares their joys – a child’s first time in a swimming pool, the wonders of a county fair. On this journey with Marco and her other Mexican immigrant friends, she hopes desperately that her expanding sense of family will not dissolve as the government makes rules that destabilize their lives.
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Abbey Carpenter is an author, an editor, and a creative spirit. When not writing she can be found gardening, volunteering, hiking, yarn bombing, playing the uku, birdwatching, or building something. She has worked, taught, and volunteered in areas of social justice and environmental sustainability. She lives in Silver City, New Mexico on the edge of 3.3 million acres of national forest which she explores as often as possible.
Abbey was a CHID major – Comparative History of Ideas – at the University of Washington and has two graduate degrees from Prescott College in Sustainable Community Development and Creative Writing. Her curiosity about the world and its inhabitants keeps her studying and exploring and then trying to relay what she finds in writing. Her stories and essays have been previously published in Muse It Up, Sustainable Ways, and Read It Here.