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Friday, February 18, 2011

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

"Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico.  She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic.  Under her wise wing, Tony will test the bonds that tie him to his people, and discover himself in the pagan past, in his father's wisdom, and in his mother's Catholicism.  And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world -- and will nurture the birth of his soul."

Rudolfo Anaya paints a picture of an interesting family and a situation in which the community believes Ultima is a witch.  This belief causes so many problems throughout the book which Antonio must face.  The situations which he goes through at six years old is ridiculous.  No child should see the things he sees or experience the experiences he has.  These experiences certainly shape the person Antonio will become and what he will believe.  The novel is interesting and contains a little bit of Spanish language mixed in between which can be difficult for someone with no Spanish background to read.  Overall, the book was okay, and gives a great pictures of youth and the passage to adulthood.

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