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The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto…
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The Hummingbird's Daughter (2005)

by Luis Alberto Urrea

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915409,598 (4.18)179
Recently added byLinda.Covella, etbm2003, private library, mmeros, seite, batsao, jennifersoule, karennjohnson
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Luis Alberto Urrea weaves a story around the life of his ancestor, Teresa Urrea, sometimes called the "Saint of Cabora." Teresita is an interesting character and her fictionalized growth from precocious child to confident woman is nicely described and her transformation into healer/saint is a fascinating one, especially when you know it's based on historical documents. The only quibble I have is a small one and is perhaps because the writer is a relative: he doesn't fully get under the skin of his characters - perhaps because he's too concerned with imagining what they were actually like, rather than making them fully fictional. He may have gotten closer to Santa Teresita had he let go a little more of fact and made her more fiction. Nevertheless, it's a great story of a truly fascinating person living in an interesting time and place, one I now want to know more about. ( )
  -Eva- | Mar 23, 2014 |
I may have been predisposed to really love this book, as I harbor an interest in Latin American history and literature. This story, based on a real person in the author's family history, is loaded with a palpable sense of the mixed up colors, natures and faiths that result from the collision of indigenous cultures and European colonials. It's a complex emotional story and no one is the bad guy, save maybe the administration of Porfirio Diaz. Like many stories of Latin America, it has its magical realist elements. One thing this book really got right was conveyed in a particularly moving way: Teresita's sense of god in everything and a very, very sincere faith. For a reader who is also a major doubter, the author managed to get it right. Can't wait to pick up the sequel! ( )
  karrinina | Nov 13, 2013 |
For historical fiction fans, this may be resplendent. I will grant this is well written and mostly held my interest beyond 300 pgs. In my view, however, this rolls on for too long, and the various episodes in the life of the hacienda, and "Teresita", the enigmatic protagonist, become tiresome. The characters, particularly medicine woman/midwife Huila, who serves as Teresita's mentor, as well as the mercurial Tomas, are vividly developed, and are given all-too-human weaknesses and faults (many of these humorously portrayed). Not my cup of tea, but engaging enough. ( )
  JamesMScott | Nov 1, 2013 |
I really slogged through this. I’m not sure why I had such a difficult time reading it. I’m glad that I did. I ended up enjoying it but I wasn’t wild about it. It's well written, I liked some of the characters including Huila and Teresa; many of the characters were interesting, although often infuriating. I read as a skeptic but that shouldn’t have detracted from my enjoyment as it hasn’t with other similar themed books. The book was disturbing, violent and depicted many atrocities that humans commit upon one another, but I’ve read plenty of books such as those and loved them despite the gore and tragedy.

This book did inspire me to research the peoples in these places and this time that are described in this novel. This book is a work of fiction but is based on a real woman from an actual place and time, and the history is interesting. I think I’d rather have read a non-fiction book about the subject.

So, I don’t know whether it’s because while reading my tolerance for human frailties was especially low or what it was, but the story just didn’t grab me.

However, it’s epic in scale and has some beautiful descriptions and I wouldn’t want to dissuade anyone from reading it, especially because I’m glad that I read it for my book club; otherwise I would not have read it, or stuck with it had I started. I guess this doesn’t sound like a rousing endorsement but I would recommend this book if you’re interested in Mexico’s history and peoples. ( )
1 vote Lisa2013 | Apr 18, 2013 |
Highly readable with a lovingly rendered title character. Not sure it made a lasting impression on me, but I will likely read the follow-up as well. ( )
  CluckingBell | Apr 7, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Truth is everything. Of truth I have no fear. In truth I see no shame. -- Teresita Urrea
Truth, for tyrants, is the most terrible and cruel of all bindings: it is like an incandescent iron falling across their chests. And it is even more agonizing than hot iron, for that only burns the flesh, with Truth burns its way into the soul. -- Lauro Aguirre
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For Cinderella
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On the cool October morning when Cayetana Chavez brought her baby to light, it was the start of that season in Sinaloa when humid torments of summer finally gave way to breezes and falling leaves, and small red birds skittered through the corrals, and the dogs grew new coats.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316154520, Paperback)

The prizewinning writer Luis Alberto Urrea's long-awaited novel is an epic mystical drama of a young woman's sudden sainthood in late 19th-century Mexico.It is 1889, and civil war is brewing in Mexico. A 16-year-old girl, Teresita, illegitimate but beloved daughter of the wealthy and powerful rancher Don Tomas Urrea, wakes from the strangest dream--a dream that she has died. Only it was not a dream. This passionate and rebellious young woman has arisen from death with a power to heal--but it will take all her faith to endure the trials that await her and her family now that she has become the Saint of Cabora.THE HUMMINGBIRD?S DAUGHTER is a vast, hugely satisfying novel of love and loss, joy and pain. Two decades in the writing, this is the masterpiece that Luis Alberto Urrea has been building up to.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:24 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When sixteen-year-old Teresita, the illegitimate daughter of a late-nineteenth-century rancher, arises from death possessing the power to heal, she is declared a saint and finds her faith tested by the impending Mexican civil war.

» see all 3 descriptions

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Luis Alberto Urrea is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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