While You Were Away: The Dreams 2020 Left Behind (Paperback)
"They always say that once you achieve the American Dream, you rise above poverty and all of its problems....But no one tells you that you only go up one rung of the ladder-one rung of hundreds. And no one tells you that it's even easier to go back down."
While You Were Away tells the stories of three second-generation immigrant women amid the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States.
No one knows why Olivia suddenly had to move from New York to Arizona. An air of mystery seems to follow her wherever she goes. College student Belen must decide whether she gives up her dream of grad school to take care of her mother and little brother. Perhaps her decision would be easier if she wasn't haunted by the ghost of her dead father. Leilani is sure her relationship will survive the lockdown, yet an unexpected pregnancy changes everything and forces her worlds to merge.
As their routines are brought to a halt, Olivia, Belen, and Leilani must face the question they have shied away from for so long: where do they truly belong?