The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
The protagonist, Taylor Greer, is a young woman who leaves her small Kentucky town, where most women are pregnant early in life, to see what other choices there are in the world. She buys a used car which breaks down almost always on her trip out west. On her journey, she stops in Oklahoma, where a strange woman, leaves a baby with her and flees. She finds herself wanting to take care of the baby as well as finding a new life for herself out west. Along the way, she meets new friends and new cultures. She ultimately winds up in Arizona and as she tries to find out more about the mysterious baby, she finds out that the baby may be part of the Cherokee Tribe. The friends she meets in her new life intersect with the Cherokee Tribe and with Central American refugees. Most of the main characters in the book are strong women who survive whatever life throws at them. I found the book very interesting and educational.