Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bless Me, Ultima

Author:  Rudolfo Anaya
Year: 1999
Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator:  Robert Rameriz

Goodreads Description:

Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima enters his life. She is a curandera, one who heals with herbs and magic. 'We cannot let her live her last days in loneliness,' says Antonio's mother. 'It is not the way of our people,' agrees his father. And so Ultima comes to live with Antonio's family in New Mexico. Soon Tony will journey to the threshold of manhood. Always, Ultima watches over him. She graces him with the courage to face childhood bigotry, diabolical possession, the moral collapse of his brother, and too many violent deaths. Under her wise guidance, Tony will probe the family ties that bind him, and he will find in himself the magical secrets of the pagan past—a mythic legacy equally as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America in which he has been schooled. At each turn in his life there is Ultima who will nurture the birth of his soul.
So this is one of those free audiobooks I got from Sync YA Literature. I really don't know that it's a book that I would have otherwise picked up but I'm glad I did. I found it to be a very interesting coming of age story. I thoroughly appreciate the way that Anaya blended myth and legend with reality and also the Spanish and English languages. It was a very interesting and well written book.

On a related note, during a recent road trip through New Mexico, my friend and I came across this statue to Rudolfo Anaya in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. I thought it was perfect timing because I had never heard of Anaya before and then right after reading the book, I "found" the statue.


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