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Posted January 11, 2012
Live, love and laugh along with the Queen of America and her menagerie of characters.
As a first time reader of this authors work, I was quite surprised by Urrea's writing style. His Queen of America is definitely not what I expected, in fact it was better than I expected. The main character of this book, Teresita, on who the story is based, actually existed, although most of the book is fiction. Urrea has a pre-sequel to this book, which I have not yet read, however this did not affect my reading of Queen of America, as it did not read like a sequel. I actually was completely surprised to learn Teresita was actually a real healer in her time back in the early 1900's instead of a fictitious character. This I did not note until after I read the notes and acknowledgement section at the end of the book.
Urrea's quirky style of writing and his list of characters remind me of a western-style movie with comedy scattered throughout. Teresita, her family, and friends are all characters one quickly feels comfortable with and the ongoing saga made it was difficult to put this book down. Being of Hispanic descent but not Mexican, I understood some of the Mexican words scattered throughout the book, while other times I had no idea what the word might mean. However, this did not in any way keep me from enjoying this book and I laughed out loud many times throughout this book. At other times it I was so caught up in the characters it was as if I was family. Teresita seems like the average poor Mexican, however, she also has a gift of what this generation may call healing of the hands. A term that back in the 1900's was considered by some to be witchcraft and at times she is ostracized for it. This book was an amazing adventure of love, laughter, pain and sorrow as Teresita lives her life, at times traveling across the continental United States. Urrea's words seem to carry you, when you feel the heat of the desolate desert or the scraping of the horse between your legs, while winding through the hills of Arizona. At other times you are riding on a windowless, dusty train through hills and valleys of the Old West with awe and wonder at the first glimpse of a creek bed or river, or maybe even the ocean. What may happen next? The wonders seem to never cease for what Teresita's next contingency may be. Yet in the end, Teresita finds exactly what she is longing for.
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Posted January 31, 2012
This book is a sequel to Luis Alberto Urrea's previous book The Hummingbird's Daughter and continues the saga of Teresita as she flees to America to escape the tyranny of the Mexican government's efforts to politicize her and denigrate her faith and her dedication to tending to the poor and sick peasantry. Told with a bit of irony and humor, the story is compelling and is a page-turner. Teresita, to the dismay of her father and the rest of her family, continues her ministrations to her devoted followers, now in America. During her mission of service, she is taken advantage of by shady American grifters eager to use her popularity and mystique among the poor and downtrodden for profit. This is a story of survival and redemption. I enjoyed the book immensely, especially Urrea's writing style, although I must say that if I hadn't read The Hummingbird's Daughter first, I might have been somewhat lost in understanding Teresita and the Urrea family.
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Posted April 12, 2013
Delightful and engrossing!
The incredible journey in the United States of Teresa Urrea, "la Santa de Cabora," is conjured vividly by her relative, Luis Alberto Urrea. This novel continues the story he began with "The Hummingbird's Daughter." It combines real historical figures and events with vibrantly imaginative characterizations. Although the book is quite long, it is thoroughly engrossing. Anyone who enjoys E.L. Doctorow’s novels will probably love this. It gives voice and depth to Mexican-American and Indian history and life at the turn of the twentieth century. There is so much substance and interest here that it would be a great choice for book clubs. I'm going to recommend it for mine!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2012
Urrea pens a masterful tale with richly developed characters. Fo
Urrea pens a masterful tale with richly developed characters. For me, Queen of American is even a better read than The Hummingbird's Daughter, perhaps because as Teresita matures into womanhood, we find a very beleiveable human being who only wants to be a woman and to serve God. Yet, she must move across the country as she seeks to survive and find some semblance of peace.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 10, 2013
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Posted March 3, 2012
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