Sunday, June 14, 2009

I have been lost in the past in a wonderfully lyrical poetic novel set in Sonora, Mexico, written by Luis Alberto Urrea

I have been revisiting some of my experiences living for 20 years in the Mexican part of town where I met many people who remind me of the characters in this novel, "The Hummingbird's Daughter". This novel is the essence of the Mexican experience, including a poor girl who becomes a saint. She is raped and murdered, is prepared for burial, but just as her services are about to commence, she opens her eyes and sits up. She has indeed been dead for five days but because of her psychic gifts and great healing powers she is given the gift of resurrection. She tells the astounded people around her she was being returned to heal and to bear witness.
Since she was born of a very poor mother who was murdered when she was very young, she relates to the poor, but her father, a rich landowner, has made it a habit to seduce all the beautiful poor girls he sees, and he eventually discovers that she is his illegitimate daughter, has a good inheritence of his intelligence as well as the gifts of healing and second sight from her mother. She has for example insisted on being taught to read as a very young child. Eventually she becomes the most important person in his life because she understands him, and he tries to save her when she is slated for death for inciting the natives gathering in the thousands to worship her as a saint.
But the dictator realizes he cannot kill her or the people might rise up and turn against him, so he exiles her and Tomas, her father, to the United States. Tomas leaves his ranches to his sons, legitimate and otherwise, and goes to join another exiled revolutionary friend in the U.S., who taught his daughter to read. He is putting out an underground newspaper for which Teresita has written articles defending the rights of the poor. On the way some of Teresita's militant following line a canyon to kill her guards and rescue her but she has the train slow down and commands all her followers not to fire a shot, and out of respect, they desist and she and her father go on to a new life in the States.

1 comment:

Carlene Noggle said...

Hi Gerry,
I like that book report Gerry...sounds like it is a good read...Oh...also wanted to let you know that the robes are being recalled because they will catch fire easy..there have been six deaths already. I have lost your email address, so I wanted to makesure you knew.
love ya,


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