The Tortilla Curtain is an American novel by T.C. Boyle that tells the story of two families from two different socioeconomic classes intertwined by faith. We have Candido Rincon, a 30-ish year old man and America, his 17 year old common-law wife, on one hand, undocumented immigrants from Mexico who are squatting in the wild in Topanga Canyon. We find them down on their luck at every turn unable to make their American Dream come true. Essentially, life is “fucked up” for them.
On the other hand, we have “do gooder socially conscious” Delaney Mossbacher and his wife Kyra, who have moved into a newly gated hilltop community on the outskirts of Los Angeles to be closer to nature and who at every turn are giving each other and themselves pats on the back for being so good. They come across to me as the sort of liberal Americans I dislike, those who in their privilege are clueless to reality and contribute to the trampling upon of the rights of the disadvantaged.
The story is at times cliché but I listened to this as an audiobook, narrated by the author, and it had me unwilling to leave my car many times.