In a far corner of the internet, moderator “Haikumom” (aka Odessa Ortiz) leads a chat room for recovering drug addicts, From behind their screens, these individuals who might never encounter each other in real life -- a student, an IRS-pusher, and a financier-- forge a bond as strong as blood. Off the computer, however, in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in North Philly, Odessa Ortiz’s real-life family is falling apart. Her nephew, Elliot, has returned from Iraq both physically and emotionally broken. Her niece, Yaz, is unable to reconcile her identity as a North Philly girl from the barrio with her upper-crust, intellectual lifestyle. Her sister, who was the mother that Odessa could never be, is dying of cancer. Inventive and timely, Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Water By the Spoonful is a powerful, compassionate look at the meaning of family, and the burdens we must carry to protect it.
Water By the Spoonful guide sections