SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s Note: This story was published through a Partnership between KSAT and Live from the south, a new local and Latin property magazine which works to improve and expand community relations by promoting events, stories and businesses.
Alda P. Dobbs is the author of the novel “Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna”. She was born in a small town in northern Mexico but moved to San Antonio and was raised on the South Side as a child.
She studied physics and worked as an engineer before pursuing her love of storytelling. She is as passionate about the connection between children and their past, their communities, their different cultures and nature as she is about writing. She lives with her husband and two children outside of Houston.
When Dobbs was a young girl, her great-grandmother, Juanita Martinez, told her stories about the Mexican Revolution.
When Martinez was 9 years old, she fled the fighting, the destruction of the revolution and the danger of the Federales, and crossed the arid desert on foot to reach the border town of Piedras Negras, with her father, two younger siblings. , and two cousins.
At the border, their entry into the United States was refused along with thousands of other refugees. Finally, as the Federales moved forward, the doors opened and Martinez and his family were allowed in.
Dobbs never forgot this story, and while planning to write an article about it, she embarked on a research journey, reading dozens of books on the Mexican Revolution and Mexican-American migration. She sorted four major Texas newspapers from the year 1910, and finally, after months of searching, she found an article that told the same story as her grandmother.
The event happened in the early afternoon of October 6, 1913, and it was exactly as her great-grandmother had told it. It was then that she decided to write a novel inspired by the story of her great-grandmother.
“Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna,” on sale Tuesday, September 14, chronicles a family’s perilous journey across the US border during the Mexican Revolution, which is just as relevant and heartbreaking today.
The year is 1913. Petra Luna’s mother has passed away and her father has been taken away by soldiers. She swore to her father that she would take care of the family – her grandmother, younger sister and younger brother.
They flee north, through the arid desert, trying to find a safe harbor. And every night, exhausted, Luna thinks about her dreams, especially her long-standing desire to learn to read and write, something she abuelita calls for barefoot dreams, which “are not meant to go far.” Luna refuses to give up on this dream. And through war, hunger and danger, she will stop at nothing to ensure the safety of her family.
Come celebrate the release of “Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna” by attending the launch at The Twig Book Shop on Saturday September 18 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
This article originally appeared on Live from the south.
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