This is a fascinating family saga from the viewpoint of the sisters of the Sandoval family who live in New Mexico. The story is one of survival in a time in history when New Mexico is struggling for its independence, and the sisters are doing the same. Women at that time had nothing but marriage and raising children as an option in their lives, but these women go their own way and succeed while incorporating the past (curandismo and diaries of past Sandoval women) into their futures. A very GoodRead.
Everything you could want from historical fiction - a largely unexplored part of Mexican/American history, the spectacular vistas of New Mexico, a well researched, finely tuned plot, a dynastic family with not one but three incredibly distinct, sensual, powerful female voices. Mystical like Garcia-Marquez, spanning centuries of family lore like Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches, this novel answers the question "What would life have been like for educated, intelligent, empowered women in the 1800s?". When the story ends, you miss the characters ... and you want to know what happens next to Oratoria, Alma and Pilar. CindyD
What surprised me about this book, besides the feisty female characters and multi-generational saga, is that I realized I've never read a fictional account of the war that brought New Mexico into the United States and what it meant for the people who had lived in New Mexico before the Anglos arrived. The description of the arrival of the long line of stagecoaches after statehood was declared and the assumption of a superior culture was visually striking and thought provoking. Anyone who is curious about this under examined part of our history that is the Mexican-American War if 1844 to 1846 should pick this one up. Marianne Cotter
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Artist Alfred Kubin did the piece posted above.