An epic portrait of Mexico is painted as this spellbinding story of madness and miracles, rage and redemption, unfolds.
Margarita...wild of heart and powerful in her earthborn mystery is the indomitable Indian matriarch who guards her family and conquers her enemies with the cutting edge of unconditional love - and a touch of magic. As a young woman, she was swept away by Juan Jesus Villaseñor, a powerful arrogant man who carried the blood of Spanish royalty in his veins - and who, unarmed, once wrestled with the great serpent that held his village hostage - and won.
Together, Don Juan and Dona Margarita would create a dynasty on the eve of the Mexican Revolution. Their daughters...Emilia and Luisa, beautiful, sensuous, mysterious, who find courage and endurance in their mother's faith, and searing, explosive passion amid the turmoil of war. Their sons...Jose, who becomes a legendary horseman and a hero of the revolution. And Juan, the youngest, Victor Villaseñor's father, through whose eyes this brilliant, tumultuous saga unfolds.
©1997 Victor Villasenor; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"His characters and the events they live through are so outrageous that familiar stereotypes dissolve in their wake and magnetic individuals come to life, taking both the good and the bad as givens, supported by fierce love of the earth, their families, God and, above all, la vida." (Publishers Weekly)
I enjoyed this book, and the narrator was fabulous. Living in New Mexico I have a close association with the Mexican culture, and this book captured the deep belief in God, and the love of family that is inherent in the people. The story is not just about the family and it's trials, but about the classic struggle of political power, that destroys and unravels the way of life of the people.
Force yourself to read this book and skip the audio book. To much screaming and yelling. The reader can't express the author's emothions without shouting and screaming. I think we all know what emotions are, but the audio book is terrible.
Violent. If I had to describe this book in one word, that is what I would choose. The book brims with raw emotion, detailed descriptions of corporal functions, sex and defecation, rape and sexual ecstasy/exaltation too, aspects of earthiness and heavenly beliefs. The author clearly wants to tie these qualities to how people relate to their fate and God. This was over the top for me. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Dick Hill. He put his soul into every word spoken. A book that is emotionally raw and gripping can become almost intolerable to listen to with such a talented reader. His voice is one minute soft and gentle and then harsh and screaming. At the end it was dispassionate, when the story itself was over.
This is a story about the Mexican Revolution in the early 1900s. It is about the Mexican culture. It is about the conflict between earth and heaven, Catholicism and ancient Mexican beliefs, Native Indians and Spaniards. It is about love. All of these conflicting forces play out against each other. I sat back in horror and observed. To put it bluntly, everybody did exactly what they wished and exclaimed how God was on their side. But I do believe it accurately depicts Mexican history and culture as it played out in one family, the family of the author’s ancestors. This is a book of historical fiction with magical realism thrown in. What is magical and what is real is all a matter of interpretation….and your own beliefs.
I am glad I read the book, so I give it three stars. Some parts I liked; some I hated. It was not an easy read. I think the presentation is accurate and thus not enjoyable to follow. What happens is gritty and crude. Much violence is committed with the belief that such is almost inevitable. I would recommend it to those of you who are curious about the Mexican Revolution and culture, not the historical details, but how the people perceived it and lived through it.
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