Traces of Bliss [NOOK Book]

Overview

What would you risk to relive the bliss?
In the affluent Los Feliz enclave of Los Angeles, five welathy seniors recall vivid memories of ancestors after Claire, a young massage therapist, uses her grandmother’s speically blended, Amazonian, aromatherapy oil. The
seniors' live-in caregivers, each with a rich history, are inevitably caught up in the drama as the past collides with the present.
The caregivers ...
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Traces of Bliss

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Overview

What would you risk to relive the bliss?
In the affluent Los Feliz enclave of Los Angeles, five welathy seniors recall vivid memories of ancestors after Claire, a young massage therapist, uses her grandmother’s speically blended, Amazonian, aromatherapy oil. The
seniors' live-in caregivers, each with a rich history, are inevitably caught up in the drama as the past collides with the present.
The caregivers divulge details of the memories to Alma Ruiz, a pseudo-homeopath, amateur genealogist, and pathological liar. She conspires with Soledad to dupe the vulnerable seniors into paying them vast amounts for
memory retrieval reenactments. Alma and Soledad’s transgressions awaken the buried shamanistic sense of Octavio, a gifted gardener who immigrated to Los Angeles seeking revenge from the oil companies that dumped oil
in the Shuar tribal lands of Amazonian Ecuador. He reacts instinctively to protect Claire and the susceptible seniors.
Traces of Bliss reveals how memory can travel through the blood, and how much we are willing to sacrifice for lost treasures from the past.
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  • Traces of Bliss
    Traces of Bliss  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983745884
  • Publisher: Libros Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/16/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 305
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Cecilia Velastegui was forn in Ecuador and raised in California and France. She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California, and speaks for languages. She lives with her family in Monarch
Beach, California.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Traces of Bliss by Cecilia Velástegui was quite unlike an

    Traces of Bliss by Cecilia Velástegui was quite unlike any other book I’ve ever read. The author's ability to seamlessly weave the past and the present together in a fashion that defies description, coupled with a great sense of language and meticulous research, results in a story which at times read like historical fiction, bordering on fantasy, and at others was a very insightful view of class and race issues in contemporary California.
    When Claire, a personal massage therapist, who devotedly caters to the seniors in the rich neighborhood of Los Feliz in Los Angeles, changes the oil she uses to a formula suggested by her grandmother, strange things begin to happen. All of her clients, elderly and well-off, start to experience extremely vivid memories — really more like flashbacks — of their ancestors from centuries ago. While nobody knows quite what to make of this, and all of the caretakers for those elderly people are quite worried about their charges, Alma Ruiz, their less than reputable neighbor, sees the opportunity to become rich by impersonating a doctor of holistic medicine. Alma’s plan is deviously simple – she would make them believe that she can help them continue re-living those memories by staging sessions of memory retrievals.
    Such a plan of course requires at least one accomplice, and Alma finds an ideal one in the rather unscrupulous Soledad, the Filipina caregiver of Dr. Nunez. Everything seems to be going according to their plans, but Alma was not counting on the ever-watchful Octavio, the immensely intelligent and powerful gardener, who used to be a powerful shaman in Ecuador. He remains intent on protecting Claire and her clients, and does so in a very efficient and rather surprising manner.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Difficult read

    This was one book that I did not enjoy reading. I put it doen several times, but finally finished it. It could have been good, just to hard to follow plot.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 15, 2012

    Well crafted, enjoyable read

    I thouroughly enjoyed this book! The carfully interwoven storylines were historically fascitating as well as the atosmopheres that were created from them. The contest of good vs. evil is always present as are the many sorrows of life. I love books that I can learn from. It was well written and researched and very readable. I would read more of her!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2012

    A lot of interesting facts, and impeccable grammar. The book co

    A lot of interesting facts, and impeccable grammar. The book could have done with a lot of editing. I'm still not entirely sure how all of the plotlines tied in with one another.

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

    Posted July 7, 2012

    2 stars

    Horrible book. Made no sense and was so confusing

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    History, Mystery, and Genetic Memory Reviewed by Olivera Baumga

    History, Mystery, and Genetic Memory

    Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (12/11)

    When Claire, a personal massage therapist, who devotedly caters to the seniors in the rich neighborhood of Los Feliz in Los Angeles, changes the oil she uses to a formula suggested by her grandmother, strange things began to happen. All of her clients, elderly and well-off, began to experience extremely vivid memories, really more like flashbacks, of their ancestors from centuries ago. While nobody knew quite what to make of this, and all of the caretakers for those elderly people were quite worried about their charges, Alma Ruiz, their less than reputable neighbor, saw the opportunity to become rich by impersonating a doctor of holistic medicine. Alma’s plan was deviously simple – she would make them believe that she can help them continue re-living those memories by staging sessions of memory retrievals. Such a plan of course required at least one accomplice, and Alma found an ideal one in the rather unscrupulous Soledad, the Filipina caregiver of Dr. Nunez. Everything seemed to be going according to their plans, but Alma was not counting on the ever watchful Octavio, the immensely intelligent and powerful gardener, who used to be a powerful shaman in Ecuador. He remained intent on protecting Claire and her clients, and did so in a very efficient and rather surprising manner.

    “Traces of Bliss” by Cecilia Velástegui was quite unlike any other book I’ve ever read. Her ability to seamlessly weave the past and the present together in a fashion that defies description, coupled with a great sense of language and meticulous research, resulted in a story which at times read like historical fiction, bordering on fantasy, and at others was a very insightful view of class and race issues in the contemporary California. Some of the scenes from the past, as well as the ones from Octavio’s childhood, were almost dreamlike, and some of the ones happening in the seedier parts of contemporary Los Angeles or to its seedier characters were downright disturbingly harsh, yet brilliant. The incredible cast of characters was rich and drawn with lots of detail, and each one of them turned out to be more complex than what one would expect of them at a first glance. There is a heady mix of Moorish invasions, Basque Witch trials, duende, prehistoric caves, flamenco dancers and gypsies, cross-dressing military officers fighting for the Spanish crown in the 17th century, mermaids, missing teenagers, Sephardic Jews, poets, shamans, involuntary memories, magic mushrooms, violent husbands, crying babies, impersonators, gigolos, and more... and somehow it all makes sense in the end.

    “Traces of Bliss” is a hauntingly beautiful book, which will certainly appeal to readers of intelligent fiction, particularly those who are truly interested in history and not opposed to some novel views. While happiness might not be found easily in this story, it definitely exists, and reminds us time and again what really and truly matters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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