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The Hummingbird's Daughter (2005)

de Luis Alberto Urrea

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,2775511,021 (4.12)216
"Teresita is not an ordinary girl. Born of an illiterate, poor Indian mother, she knows little about her past or her future. She has no idea that her father is Don Tomas Urrea, the wild and rich owner of a vast ranch in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. She has no idea that Huila, the elderly healer who takes Teresita under her wing, knows secrets about her destiny. And she has no idea that soon all of Mexico will rise in revolution, crying out her name." "When Teresita is but a teenager, learning from Huila the way plants can cure the sick and prayer can move the earth, she discovers an even greater gift: she has the power to heal. Her touch, like warm honey, melts pain and suffering. But such a gift can be a burden, too. Before long, the Urrea ranch is crowded with pilgrims and with agents of a Mexican government wary of anything that might threaten its power." "The Hummingbird's Daughter is the story of a girl coming to terms with her destiny, with the miraculous, and with the power of faith. It is the tale of a father discovering what true love is and a daughter recognizing that sometimes true love requires true sacrifice."--BOOK JACKET.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 55 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This book had me weeping more than once. The incredibly moving story of Teresa Urrea, The Hummingbird's Daughter, is based on a true historical figure who inspired a Mexican revolution, and who also happens to be a distant relation of the author, Luis Alberto Urrea. The first sections describe in realistic detail the impoverished childhood of a mixed-race girl, bastard daughter of a landowner and an Indian worker who abandons her child. However, the girl receives wealth beyond gold when she is taken in by a gifted medicine woman. When Teresa's own powers bloom, she astonishes everyone around her. A gripping tale of a truly good person facing down the evil of our world. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 15, 2020 |
Teresita grows up on the rancho of Don Tomás in Sinaloa. Intelligent and inquisitive, she gains the attention of Huila, the curandera of the rancho who recognizes the faint gift of healing within the girl and begins her training. As her gift grows, Teresita becomes known as something of a saint to the people of the rancho and the surroundings towns as well as to the indians--much to the alarm of General Porfirio Díaz who wants to wrestle control of the land from the indians.

This is a remarkable story about one woman's belief in her own abilities and her sense to do what is right even when it goes contrary to the desires of an entire government. It's rich in detail and filled with wonderful and unique characters. And what makes the story even more intriguing is that Teresita is based on an actual person--who was an ancestor of the author. I definitely recommend reading this book. ( )
  ocgreg34 | Aug 15, 2020 |
What a book! This is historical fiction as wild adventure story. Beginning in 1880, Luis Alberto Urrea tells the story of Teresita, a young Indian girl who began life with no advantages and all the disadvantages, and ended up as an ignition point for the Mexican Revolution.

This is an adventure story full of colorful characters. It has a sense of humor and a sense of absurdity, while remaining deeply seeped in the traditions of Latinx story-telling. It reminded me in tone and pacing of Lonesome Dove, although the plot is entirely different. There's a wide cast of characters, all of whom Urrea makes live and breathe. I enjoyed my time with this novel and I have yet to find a book by this author that hasn't been excellent. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Feb 12, 2020 |
This compulsively readable novel buzzed with family drama based on memorable characters and engaging historic events. The author has an expansive style that I found reminiscent of the larger novels of John Steinbeck, like East of Eden, based on detailed depiction of character and family juxtaposed with adventures that were sometimes brutally realistic augmented by a lyrical depiction of nature.

The author uses the historical information he gathered over years of research to form the framework for a beautiful and lyrical story of a young girl’s coming-of-age and self-discovery during the politically unstable period in Mexican history preceding the revolution of 1910. Urrea fleshes out the characters, the period, the locations, and the trials and tribulations of daily life. He vividly depicts a time and place that was unfamiliar to this reader.

The novel is filled with beautiful lyricism, particularly in the first half, as in this passage describing the journey from Sinaloa to Sonora: "And in the trunks of the oldest trees, among the stones in the creek beds, buried in the soil, lying among the chips of stone kicked aside by the horses, the arrowheads of long-forgotten hunters, arrowheads misshot on a hot morning, arrowheads that passed through the breast of a raiding Guasave, gone to dust now like the bowman and scattered, arrowheads that brought down deer that fed wives and children and all of them gone, into the dirt, blowing into the eyes and raising tears that tumbled down the cheeks of Teresita."

Passages such as this one reveals Urrea’s background as a poet, as well as the extent of his research. The narrative is filled with descriptions of scenery and plant life: “Desert marigold. Threadleaf groundsel. Paleface flower. Texas silverleaf. Sage. Desert calico. Purple mat.” Food also figures prominently; many meals are described in full, such as the following: “[Don Tomás] ate chorizo and eggs, calabaza and papaya, a bowl of arroz cooked in tomato sauce with red onions sprinkled over it, coffee and boiled milk, and three sweet rolls.” To enhance the ambiance, Urrea throws in a mix of Spanish words and phrases: Don Tomás calls the men such uncomplimentary names as pinches cabrones and pendejos. There are exclamations of Por Dios! and lamentations such as Qué barbaridad! When a swarm of bees descends on a local cantina, the people cry Muchas abejas! When Don Tomás flirts with a local girl, he utters piropos, or compliments to flatter her.

Through Teresita’s eyes, the simple, traditional lifestyle of the Indians is contrasted with the more modern lifestyle of the wealthy whites. As a little girl, she is amazed by the grandeur of Don Tomás’s house; she gingerly climbs the steps, something she has never seen before leading up to the front door, then she tries the porcelain doorknob that allows her to enter into the equally amazing interior: the floors of polished wood (not dirt), the beautiful furnishings, a library full of books that only the educated white men (Don Tomás and Aguirre) can read, the grandfather clock, which she thinks is a tree with a heartbeat. This unauthorized first venture, like Alice’s into Wonderland, is what leads her aunt to beat her. Nevertheless, Teresita is eventually welcomed into the house permanently once her father realizes that she is his daughter.

Teresita, who adopted the name because she admired the Catholic Saint Teresa, blossoms into a beautiful young woman, sympathetic, kind, and with a unique sensibility which is the result of her dual upbringing. Don Tomás allows her to continue her apprenticeship with Huila as a curandera at the same time that he indoctrinates her in the ways of the Europeans. What Teresita learns about plants and other natural cures is combined with a peculiar dose of Catholicism as practiced by Huila and the rest of the native population, who still offer up a glass of tequila or a bolillo to God as their ancestors had done for their native gods. As with Saint Teresa, Teresita wishes to “ease suffering.” Hence, even before her miraculous arising from the dead, she has entered onto the pathway of her life’s work.

The narrative is an intriguing mix of horrific tragedy and Magical Realism. The brutality of the era figures constantly in the background, where whites slaughter Indians and Indians slaughter whites. There are mutilations, tortures, kidnappings. The People are starving, working under grueling conditions for their white masters, yet there is hope.

The book’s title derives from a nickname for Teresita’s mother. Cayetana was known as the hummingbird. The hummingbird was believed by the People to be a messenger of God. As with other messengers of God, Teresita is persecuted and driven from her home. The initial move of Don Tomás from Sinaloa to Sonora foreshadows their last and final move, from Mexico to the United States. The whole of the book blends historical fiction, family saga, and magical realism, all blended with a lyrical style that made this a great read. ( )
  jwhenderson | Sep 7, 2018 |
I love historical fiction in which the author creates a full-bodied story from detailed historical research. And I loved not knowing it was based on a real person until I finished the book and read the afterword. The only drawback I see in this story is my lack of understanding Spanish kept me from enjoying the story to the fullest. Usually, I was able to pick out the meaning of the Spanish words from the context. Even though I’ve traveled in Mexico, I’ve had trouble understanding how people could believe in living “saints”. This story helped me put that belief in miraculous healing in historical context. Diaz was not kind to the native Mexicans or mestizos. His policy of violence provided the background to the miraculous healing power of a young illegitimate girl who finally receives the blessing of her landowning father and his support in her healing and ministrations to the poor. ( )
  brangwinn | Jul 5, 2017 |
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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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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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"Teresita is not an ordinary girl. Born of an illiterate, poor Indian mother, she knows little about her past or her future. She has no idea that her father is Don Tomas Urrea, the wild and rich owner of a vast ranch in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. She has no idea that Huila, the elderly healer who takes Teresita under her wing, knows secrets about her destiny. And she has no idea that soon all of Mexico will rise in revolution, crying out her name." "When Teresita is but a teenager, learning from Huila the way plants can cure the sick and prayer can move the earth, she discovers an even greater gift: she has the power to heal. Her touch, like warm honey, melts pain and suffering. But such a gift can be a burden, too. Before long, the Urrea ranch is crowded with pilgrims and with agents of a Mexican government wary of anything that might threaten its power." "The Hummingbird's Daughter is the story of a girl coming to terms with her destiny, with the miraculous, and with the power of faith. It is the tale of a father discovering what true love is and a daughter recognizing that sometimes true love requires true sacrifice."--BOOK JACKET.

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Autor de LibraryThing

Luis Alberto Urrea és un autor/a de LibraryThing, un autor/a que afegeix la seva biblioteca personal a LibraryThing.

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Mitjana: (4.12)
0.5
1 4
1.5
2 7
2.5 3
3 34
3.5 17
4 98
4.5 17
5 98

Hachette Book Group

Hachette Book Group ha publicat 3 edicions d'aquest llibre.

Edicions: 0316154520, 0316745464, 0316014346

 

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