Gifted Gabaldón Sisters [NOOK Book]

Overview

Having lost their mother in early childhood, the Gabaldón sisters consider Fermina, their elderly Pueblo housekeeper, their surrogate Grandmother. The mysterious Fermina love the girls as if they are her own, and promises to endow each with a "special gift" to be received upon her death.

Mindful of the old woman's mystical ways, the sisters believe Fermina's gifts, bestowed based on their natural talents, magically enhance their lives. The ...
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Gifted Gabaldón Sisters

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Overview

Having lost their mother in early childhood, the Gabaldón sisters consider Fermina, their elderly Pueblo housekeeper, their surrogate Grandmother. The mysterious Fermina love the girls as if they are her own, and promises to endow each with a "special gift" to be received upon her death.

Mindful of the old woman's mystical ways, the sisters believe Fermina's gifts, bestowed based on their natural talents, magically enhance their lives. The oldest sister, Bette Davis Gabaldón, always teased for telling tales, believes her gift is the power to persuade anyone, no matter how outlandish her story. Loretta Young, who often prefers pets to people, assumes her gift is the ability to heal animals. Tough-talking tomboy, Rita Hayworth believes her gift is the ability to curse her enemies. And finally, Sophia Loren, the baby of the family, is sure her ability to make people laugh is her legacy.

As the four girls grow into women they discover that Fermina's gifts come with complicated strings, and what once seemed simple can confuse over time. Together they learn the truth about their mysterious caretaker, her legacy, and the family secret that was nearly lost forever in the New Mexican desert.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The four GabaldA³n sisters were named by their mother Bette Davis, Loretta Young, Rita Hayworth, and Sophia Loren. However, their mother died young, so rather than be raised to emulate movie stars, they were raised by Fermina, their elderly Pueblo housekeeper, with mysterious mystical rituals, promises, curses, and gifts. The sisters tell their stories in turn over a period of 20 years, from 1966 to 1987; their narrations are interspersed with Works Progress Administration reports from the 1930s about Fermina. As the girls grow up, they wonder more and more about their family's and Fermina's mysterious unhappy pasts and about Fermina's dying gifts. Occasionally reminiscent of the novels of Cristina Garcia and Sandra Cisneros, LA³pez's book presents a lively, loving Latino family. LA³pez's Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories was awarded the Independent Publishers Book Award for Multicultural Fiction and the Latino Book Award for Short Stories; she has also published Call Me Henri , a novel for young adults. Includes reading group guides in English and Spanish. Highly recommended for public library collections.-Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, OR

Kirkus Reviews
Four Latina sisters research their mysterious ancestry. There always seem to be more questions than answers for Loretta, Bette, Rita and Sophia Gabald-n. Loretta begins the family's tale in 1966. The adolescent girls are still reeling from the loss of their mother. Fermina, an ancient Native American with a strong spiritual side, has filled the shoes of the Gabald-n matriarch. Before Fermina's death, she promises each girl a special gift. But the wizened old lady never clarifies the nature of her gift and the girls spend the next two decades trying to discover their inheritance. Each sister takes a turn narrating this tale of a scrappy California family (the father and the lone brother are ancillary characters-this book is all about women). Absent a mother, the teenage girls find lots of trouble-these women can't quite seem to get their relationships right. Bette latches on to losers and criminals before deciding to go it alone as a single mom. Loretta throws herself into veterinary studies and leads a monkish existence. Sullen Rita embarks on a career that leads her to mix with society's outcasts and leave her family far behind. And the baby, Sophia, perhaps makes the biggest mess of her life as she packs on the pounds and attaches to a good-for-nothing loaf. Perhaps if they come to terms with their past, they will break free from the shackles that bind them to unrewarding relationships. L-pez (Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories, 2002) jam-packs this work with drama, the highlight being an ill-fated Route 66 adventure in 1983. An overly ambitious novel that spans decades and covers a century's worth of Fermina's history. The flashbacks may be skipped; the Gabald-n sisters alone offerample fodder.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446543101
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 742,372
  • File size: 606 KB

Meet the Author

Lorraine López is an Assistant Professor of English in the Creative Writing Program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She won the 2003 Independent Publishers Book Award for Multicultural Fiction, awarded by the Jenkins Group, for Soy la Avon Lady and other Stories. The same work also won the 2003 Latino Book Award for Short Stories, awarded by the Latino Literary Hall of Fame. In 2001, López was awarded the Inaugural Miguel Marmol Prize for Fiction, selected by Sandra Cisneros and awarded by Curbstone Press, for a first book-length work of fiction of a Latino/a writer.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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(3)

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 13, 2008

    Laughter and tears, the legacy of a mysterious love.

    Lorraine Lopez<BR/>Grand Central Publishing, 10/2008<BR/>ISBN: 9780446699211<BR/>Reviewed by Dawn Janine Mitchell for ReviewYourBook.com, 10/08<BR/>5 Stars<BR/>Lorraine Lopez<BR/>Grand Central Publishing, 10/2008<BR/>ISBN: 9780446699211<BR/>Reviewed by Dawn Janine Mitchell for ReviewYourBook.com, 10/08<BR/>5 Stars<BR/>Laughter and tears, the legacy of a mysterious love.<BR/><BR/>The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters is the story of four sisters: Betty, Loretta, Rita, and Sophia. When they lost their mother at an early age, Fermina, the family housekeeper, became almost a surrogate mother. At her death she endows each sister with a special gift. <BR/><BR/>The sisters each tell her story from childhood to adulthood, as they try to learn how to function on their own and as a family, without the presence of Fermina, who also has a mysterious past that they soon begin to unravel.<BR/><BR/>I found myself deeply involved with the storytelling. The author, Lorraine Lopez, knows how to write a beautiful story of sisters that is funny but also heartbreaking at times. It is realistic fiction that doesn¿t come along very often.<BR/>The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters is a wonderful book that I would recommend reading.<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters is the story of four sisters: Betty, Loretta, Rita, and Sophia. When they lost their mother at an early age, Fermina, the family housekeeper, became almost a surrogate mother. At her death she endows each sister with a special gift. <BR/><BR/>The sisters each tell her story from childhood to adulthood, as they try to learn how to function on their own and as a family, without the presence of Fermina, who also has a mysterious past that they soon begin to unravel.<BR/><BR/>I found myself deeply involved with the storytelling. The author, Lorraine Lopez, knows how to write a beautiful story of sisters that is funny but also heartbreaking at times. It is realistic fiction that doesn¿t come along very often.<BR/>The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters is a wonderful book that I would recommend reading.

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  • Posted November 6, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Gifted, Indeed

    After reading The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters, by Lorraine Lopez, I am astounded. Lorraine Lopez is the author of Call Me Henri, which won the Paterson Prize for Young Adult Literature, and Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories, which won the inaugural Miguel Marmol Prize for Fiction. She has also had several short stories published in various magazines, is an assistant professor of English at Vanderbilt University, and the associate editor for the Afro-Hispanic Review. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband.<BR/>The Gabaldon sisters lost their mother at a very early age and it was their Pueblo caretaker, Fermina, who held them together during that rough period, with love, compassion, and humor. Upon Fermina¿s passing, she told them of a special gift each would receive, selected just for them. Twenty years later, the girls wonder about these supposed gifts and if the woman who bestowed them was a witch or plain crazy. Loretta- with the power to heal animals, Bette- the ability to spin stories, Rita- the power to curse others, and Sophia- having the skill to incite laughter; the women delve into their family and Fermina¿s woven history. As secrets and mysteries are revealed, it shows the Gabaldon sisters who their guardian, Fermina, really was and teaches them the truth about themselves, as well.<BR/>I¿m going to issue an age warning, stating I feel this book is appropriate for ages fifteen plus, as there are sexual references, drug abuse, and some sexual abuse references. Though it is very tactfully and eloquently told, it is still present.<BR/>I am intrigued by how the idea for The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters came to Lorraine Lopez, which is told in her biography in the back of the book. She comes from a large extended family with ties to central New Mexico. Her adopted grandfather was biological son of his adopted father¿s brother and a Native American servant- a Pueblo woman who worked in the family¿s home. After having the son, she had a daughter who was surrendered by the family to an orphanage. What a heart-breaking and astonishing story, and one that made for an interesting fictional tale, (or idea), for the book.<BR/>The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters, by Lorraine Lopez, is an original, inventive, fierce, and engaging story, sure to invoke thought, tears, and laughter. With a blended mix of tongues, cultures, traditions, and history- it will captivate you from beginning to end, and is a book that will remain with you long after you finish.<BR/><BR/>Kelly Moran<BR/>Author and Reviewer

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Sister Bond

    The mother of four sisters dies, leaving them to be raised by an unobservant father and a beloved housekeeper, who has her own mysterious past. Unfortunately for the girls, the housekeeper dies shortly after. The girls are pretty much left to their own devices. They feel a void and begin to search to find out who their mother and their housekeeper were. The sisters' lives are examined over more than twenty years as they reach maturity, go their separate ways, and reunite. Each chapter is taken by a different sister who reports the happenings from her vantage point. Using first-person, second-person, and third-person points of view, the tale unfolds in a smooth, easy-to-read fashion. Each girl has her own voice, and the reader has no difficulty following what could be a difficult read. The characters are believable--each one is well written so that personality flaws are evident. They squabble, but the bond of family is tight. Warning: A good bit of profanity is used throughout the book.

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  • Posted October 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A great book club selection....

    The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters begins in Los Angeles in 1966. We meet the four sisters - Loretta, Rita, Sophia, Bette and their brother Cary - all named by their late mother after movie stars. The girls are still mourning their mother. Their beloved housekeeper, Fermina, becomes ill as well. She has always promised that when she passes on she will give the girls each a gift. When she dies, the girls try to discover what each gift is. They aren't tangible items, but maybe the gifts are abilities......<BR/><BR/>Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of one of the sisters. Interspersed are tantalizing excerpts from Fermina's life, beginning in the 1930's, taken down by a data collector from Work Projects Administration.<BR/><BR/>This novel traces the lives of the girls through joy and heartache. Through it all runs the memory of their mother. Each girl remembers her differently. And Fermina - who was she really - her life with them is a bit of a mystery.<BR/><BR/>The women in this story are the dominant, strong characters. I was caught up in the lives of the Gabaldon sisters. Their bickering, angst, joy and passion for life was intoxicating. Although they make some bad decisions in life, their acceptance of what life brings, their devotion to their children and their love for each other is compelling. The story rings true and real, with no sugar coating. As we follow the sisters' lives, we also follow Fermina's in further reports from the WPA until the two tales meet and we discover who Fermina was and what the gifts truly were.<BR/><BR/>This newly released novel is a story that will appeal to sisters and friends. It would be an excellent suggestion for a book club.<BR/><BR/>Fermina's life is drawn from Lopez's own family history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2008

    refreshing paranormal family drama

    In Southern California, their mom named her four daughters after Hollywood actresses she enjoyed. When she passed away while her children were young, their dad raised them with the help of caretaker Fermina though in reality Fermina raised the kids with the help of their father. When the ancieno Fermina realized she was dying after a century of life, she tells her beloved girls she will give each of them a special gift that they must use wisely. --- Bette Davis obtains the skill of making anyone believe anything no matter how farfetched or exaggerated she says Loretta Young has the ability to heal injured animals Rita Hayworth can curse anyone with bad things happening to them and Sophia Loren has the uncanny gift of making anyone even those depressed and despondent laugh. Over the next two decades they help each other and wonder about Fermina¿s paranormal gifts as they investigate their family tree and the background of their caretaker, the four GIFTED GABALDON SISTERS begin to question what was bestowed on them. --- This is an intriguing paranormal sister-lit tale with psychic elements crossing the story line. The four siblings rotate viewpoint, which enables the audience to understand their differences and more important their similarities and concerns this makes each seem real even with possession of otherworldly powers. Fermina for the most part remains mystical and with each revelation her mysticism grows. Although the intermingling of Spanish throughout enhances the sense of reality, it also slows down the plot for many readers who stop to interpret within the context of the paragraphs. Still Lorraine Lopez provides a unique refreshing paranormal family drama. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2008

    Sisters Bond

    The mother of four sisters dies, leaving them to be raised by an unobservant father and a beloved housekeeper, who has her own mysterious past. Unfortunately for the girls, the housekeeper dies shortly after. The girls are pretty much left to their own devices. They feel a void and begin to search to find out who their mother and their housekeeper were. The sisters' lives are examined over more than twenty years as they reach maturity, go their separate ways, and reunite. Each chapter is taken by a different sister who reports the happenings from her vantage point. Using first-person, second-person, and third-person points of view, the tale unfolds in a smooth, easy-to-read fashion. Each girl has her own voice, and the reader has no difficulty following what could be a difficult read. The characters are believable--each one is well written so that personality flaws are evident. They squabble, but the bond of family is tight. Warning: A good bit of profanity is used throughout the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2008

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