Fiction / Coming of age / Magical Realism
276 pages / 1161 KB
Having recently moved to Albuquerque NM, and searching for books by local authors, I came across Bless Me, Ultima. Oh, what a warm and marvelous welcome to my new home!
Knowledge of some Spanish would be helpful, but not necessary, though the next time I read the book (oh, believe me, there will be a next time!) I will take the time to look up the words I couldn't figure out.
When Antonio is 6, the curandera who delivered him comes to live with his family. She has a special fondness for Antonio and takes him with her when she goes out to gather her herbs and medicines. She teaches him the proper way to harvest them, to talk to the plants, explain why he is taking a part of them.
His mother is a Luna, her people till the land; his father is a Marez, his people were free to ride the plains. Mama wants Antonio to become a Priest; Papa wants him to become a man of freedom. Antonio struggles to become Antonio.
I think this is one of, if not the, best coming of age I've read. I highly recommend the book. The writing is marvelous, the story compelling. An insight into a culture in the process of changing.