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Carlyn Montes De Oca
Junkyard Girl
Carlyn Montes De Oca grew up surrounded by secrets. She never knew her dad was a Marine during World War II or that her grandmother hired kidnappers to bring her mother back home after her parents eloped. Her mom and dad took an even bigger secret to their graves… Carlyn’s identity. In 2019, at age 57, a consumer DNA test taken for fun revealed that Carlyn’s parents, immigrants from Mexico, were not her biological parents. In that instant, Carlyn felt her world shatter. This revelation fueled a year-long journey to find the answers to “Who the hell am I really and where do I belong?” Junkyard Girl explores the powerful impact of long-held secrets and the complex relationships between immigrant mothers and their native-born daughters. This is a coming-of-age story later in life, a tale about loss and discovery, betrayal and forgiveness, and the true meaning of an American family.