Cynthia is a social worker who is assigned to Turtle's
case.ï¿½ She has to report that Taylor has no legal right to Turtle but tries to
help the two stay together.
Esperanzaï¿½ is Estevan's wife.ï¿½ Their daughter, Ismene, was
stolen from them in Guatemala.ï¿½ She mourns the loss of her child and attaches
to Turtle.ï¿½ By pretending Turtle is her daughter to help Taylor adopt the
child, Esperanza has a chance to say the goodbye she was never allowed.
Estevan is a Guatemalan refugee who Mattie helps.ï¿½ He and
Taylor become close and she falls in love with him.ï¿½ Because he is married,
they never discuss her feelings.ï¿½ In Guatemala, he was an English teacher, but
in the United States, he washes dishes in a Chinese restaurant.
Alice Greer is Taylor's mother.ï¿½ She loves Taylor and
supports her, giving her the strength to go off on her own and be independent.
Taylor Greer ï¿½
Born in rural Pittman County, Kentucky, Taylor Greer strikes
out to make a life of her own.ï¿½ She is gutsy and fears little, but when she
encounters the cruelty of the wider world, she is shocked.ï¿½ Only her courage and
her desire to help those she loves keep her strong despite all the sadness she
sees. When she arrives in Arizona, she makes many new friends.ï¿½ She moves in
with Lou Ann, works with Mattie, and raises Turtle.ï¿½ She discovers that she is
more than gutsy; she is strong enough for others to rely upon her.
April Turtle Greer
Orphaned by the death of her mother as a toddler, Turtle is
sent to live with her aunt and a man who abuses and molests her.ï¿½ To protect
the child, her aunt gives her to Taylor, begging her to take care of her.ï¿½ At
first, all Turtle does is hold onto things, but she eventually develops a
personality.ï¿½ She learns to speak, at first mostly saying the names of
vegetables.ï¿½ She attaches to Taylor and flourishes due to her love.
Granny Logan is Lou Ann's grandmother.ï¿½ While she and Ivy
fight all of the time and are often not speaking to each other, they still
support each other by simply living together and recognizing that family is
Ivy Logan ï¿½
Ivy Logan is Lou Ann's mother.ï¿½ While she is bigoted about
Lou Ann's Hispanic husband, she is the support network that Lou Ann always
Mattie is the proprietor of Jesus is Lord Used Tires, which
was named by her religious late husband.ï¿½ She is a tough woman, and she is
dedicated to fighting for justice for others.ï¿½ She runs a station on an
underground railroad for illegal refugees who are fleeing violence in their own
Virgie May Parsons ï¿½
Virgie May Parsons is Lou Ann and Taylor's neighbor.ï¿½ She is
small-minded and rude, yet she and Edna support each other.ï¿½ Together, the two
women often care for Dwayne Ray and Turtle.
Edna Poppy ï¿½is Taylor and Lou Ann's neighbor.ï¿½ She is much
nicer than her roommate.ï¿½ Taylor does not realize for quite some time that Edna
is blind.ï¿½ Turtle is with Edna when a man tries to hurt her in the park.
Angel Ruiz ï¿½
Angel Ruiz ï¿½is Lou Ann's husband.ï¿½ He changes after losing
his leg in an accident and drifts away from his wife.ï¿½ Eventually, he leaves
Lou Ann Ruiz
Lou Ann Ruiz comes from rural Kentucky and ends up in Tucson.ï¿½ She lacks self- confidence and so continually denigrates herself.ï¿½ After Taylor moves in with her, Lou Ann begins to treat herself a little better.ï¿½ Eventually,
she develops a life of her own and self-confidence.
Dwayne Ray Ruiz
Dwayne Ray Ruiz is Lou Ann's son, with whom she was pregnant
when her husband left her.
Father William is a priest who moves refugees along the