Leona: A Love Story

Leona: A Love Story

by de Trevino, Elizabeth Borton De Trevino

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``I am heart and soul with the brave men fighting for Mexico,'' says the eponymous heroine of this historical novel based on the life of Leona Vicario (1789-1842), ``and for freedom from Spain.'' Turning away from her wealthy Royalist family, spurred on by a legendary love for the insurgent leader Andres Quintana Roo and for her country, Leona endures tremendous hardships while bravely helping the revolutionaries, winning from the new government the title ``Heroine of the Independence.'' Newbery Medalist Borton de Trevino convincingly fleshes out a complex and lovable character, imbuing the girl both with sweetlynaive romanticism and the strength to live by her difficult political ideals--Leona is reminiscent of a Juliet, but has a soldier's mettle. Each reading mines a new experience of the period, as the author elegantly filters history through a variety of political, social and religious viewpoints. Borton de Trevino draws out the dramatic and moving from bare fact, and enthralls the reader by faithfully recreating the very real emotions of the time. Ages 10-up. (July)
The ALAN Review - Margaret J. Ford
Leona Vicario, a wealthy young woman of Spanish and Mexican descent, not only discovers her true love but also her true allegiance to the revolutionary factions of the Mexican War of Independence. Along with Andres Quintana Roo, a young lawyer, revolutionary, and Leona's prometido, or fiance, she endures many hardships as she loses her family's wealth and connections in the battle for freedom. The magic of this historical romance is the fact that Leona Vicario and Andres Quintana Roo are real figures in the struggle for Mexican independence. Elizabeth Borton de Trevino weaves a rich tapestry of Spanish language (translated in a glossary at the end of the novel), custom, and Mexican history as she fictionalizes the lives of these two heroes of the War of Independence. The author, a Newbery Medalist for I, Juan de Pareja, another wonderful historical novel, recreates characters and situations worthy of recreational reading or a connection with multicultural or language studies.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A saccharine and unrealistic romance that trivializes the story of Leona Vicario, a heroine of the Mexican Revolution. Though betrothed to a much older Spanish diplomat, Leona falls in love with charismatic young Andrs Quintana Roo. Won over by his arguments in favor of Mexico for the Mexicans, Leona supports the Revolutionary cause with both her intellect and her considerable fortune. Although Trevio has created a readable story from scant information, the Leona she presents remains a two-dimensional figure. The young woman pines and sighs, exists in states of blissful happiness or deep despair, and collapses in floods of tears. Other characters are equally undeveloped, as are the historical era and the physical setting. Though the basis of the Mexican Revolution is explained in broad terms, the ideological principles of a struggle that so inspired its patriots do not come across. Still, this book does provide a glimpse of a little-known female participant, and libraries that serve Hispanic populations may want to consider it despite its flaws.-Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA
Merri Monks
In an exciting story based on historical fact, Trevino has created a tale of what might have been in the life of Leona Vicario, a revered Mexican heroine, whose role in Mexico's struggle for independence from Spain is well known. Set in the early nineteenth century, the novel combines historical fiction with exciting adventure and appealing romance. Leona is a wealthy, well-educated 16-year-old orphan living a privileged life with her uncle and cousins. But Leona is a "criolla", the daughter of a Spanish mother and a Mexican father. Unable to ignore the injustices of Spanish colonial rule, she joins the Insurgents and falls in love with Andres Quintana Roo, a brilliant young lawyer. Leona takes great risks for her country, obtaining a printing press for the rebels, escaping from her uncle's house disguised as a boy, and traveling long distances through danger and discomfort to be with Andres. In an afterword, the author explains who Leona Vicario was and her place in Mexican history and summarizes the facts known about her life. The Roman Catholic Church's significant role in nineteenth-century Mexico is apparent, as is the denigration of the region's indigenous peoples by the Spanish colonialists.

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Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 7.38(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

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