Urrea, Luis Alberto. The Hummingbird's Daughter
Urrea here tells the mesmerizing story of the life of his ancestor, Saint Teresa Urrea. Born into poverty on the rancho of her father Tomas Urrea in the 1870s, Teresa was raised in among the workers until first the rancho’s wise woman Huila and then Tomas himself recognized that Teresa was an illegitimate Urrea and took her in. Huila trained the girl in herbcraft, healing, and the other lore that was her heritage, and Tomas attempted to domesticate her, giving her shoes and teaching her manners. But Teresa was destined to be a troublemaker. A shocking act of violence turned the wild girl into the Saint, returning from near-death with healing powers in her hands and revolution in her heart. This brought down upon the Urrea rancho first swarms of pilgrims and later, the wrath of the Mexican government.
Sweeping in scope and style, infused with magical realism and delicious descriptions of the many smells and tastes and colors of the rancho, The Hummingbird’s Daughter is beautiful and, at times, funny and wise. Highly recommended for fans of Latino or historical fiction.