Gifted Gabaldón Sisters

Gifted Gabaldón Sisters

4.1 10
by Lorraine Lopez
     
 

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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

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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:
9780446699211
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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