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Keota

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Length: 521 pages7 hours

Summary

This novel traces the stories of three women as they deal with the past and confront the present: Keota, a woman who runs out on her young daughter and alcoholic husband; Chris, the daughter she abandons; and Rainy, whose childhood friend is killed in front of her on a railroad bridge around the time that Keota disappears.

When Keota leaves, she is twenty-three, reckless and unstable. She heads toward Chicago into new problems but her luck changes for the better in New York City. When something happens to freak her out there, this master of spontaneity takes the first flight available that night—a non-stop red-eye to Mexico. Surprisingly, life is easier here and she eventually meets someone she's comfortable with, an American with a mysterious past. Eventually aspects of this man's life come to light and Keota begins running again, this time into circumstances that will both soften her and threaten to destroy her.

In her absence, her daughter Chris grows up on stories in her father's yellow-rag newspaper and at the AA meetings he drags her to. About the age her mother was when she left, Chris finds herself treading water in several areas of her life. She realizes she is never going to get on with things until she knows what happened to her mother. She quits her job and pesters her best friend Rainy to go with her. Rainy, smarting from a sudden end to a very hot affair, and against her better judgment, agrees. So begins an ill conceived, but daring road trip into unforeseen terrain, hazardous and life changing.

Here in this land of incredible beauty and ever-impending danger, all three women find what they each need most. When injuries sustained in a car wreck after their arrival in Acapulco put Rainy in the care of an old Mexican curandera, blocking the childhood memory of her friend's violent death is no longer an option. With no diversions available, she is forced to take a look at the pain of the past and to see how she uses sex and drama to sidetrack herself emotionally. And when Chris finds and confronts Keota—hardly the mother she has longed for—Chris discovers the breadth of her own strength and compassion. She understands for the first time that her wellbeing is not dependent on who loves her or not. Just as shaken by her daughter’s unexpected appearance, the likeable antihero Keota finally quits running. Here at the end of the line, vulnerable, in danger and broke, Keota figures out what she is looking for, and surprisingly, finds a measure of peace.

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