Flirting in Spanish | Susan McKinney De Ortega

Susan McKinney De Ortega | Fllirting in Spanish | Memoir

Flirting in Spanish: What Mexico taught me about love, living and forgiveness, by Susan McKinney de Ortega. (Antaeus Books, 2011)Susan McKinney De Ortega

Flirting in Spanish tells the extraordinary true love story between the 33-year old daughter of former [champion] NBA coach, Jack McKinney, and a poor Mexican teenager. When Susan McKinney moves into Carlos Ortega´s lamina-roofed house in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, she finds herself not only sharing a room with her boyfriend, his brother and his sister, but struggling to find her place in another macho world – exactly what she had come to Mexico to escape.

“Susan McKinney has a real story to tell, both fraught and magical, and she knows how to tell it. FLIRTING IN SPANISH will take you places you’ve likely never been, and you will emerge amazed and illuminated.” –Tony Cohan, author of Mexican Days and On Mexican Time.

Publisher’s Weekly writes:

Running from paralyzing memories of an attempted rape and the decade of silence and shame that followed, Ortega lands in Mexico at 32, trying not to fall for a much younger local. In 1992 the author, the daughter of champion NBA coach Jack McKinney, was teaching English to Mexican teenagers when she met 19-year-old Carlos, who ardently pursues her despite the age and huge cultural differences. She resists at first, due to their divergent backgrounds–Ortega’s childhood was one of summer vacation rentals and white gloves at Mass, while Carlos was a high school dropout who didn’t have running water until age 10. But when she realizes that she is surprised a man could be kind to her like her father, “I didn’t feel like a nervous wreck of a person anymore.” It’s not an instant happy ending as Ortega contends with the extreme poverty Carlos and his family live in, the machismo culture, and her own lingering doubts, with one foot in Mexico and the other wavering. When she finally achieves hard-won contentment, it’s a joyous moment.

Susan blogs at Follow her on Twitter @mckinneyortega