Bless Me Ultima Author:Rudolfo Anaya Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony probes his family ties and discovers himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past -- a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn t... more »here is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world -- and will nurture the birth of his soul.« less
This is a wonderful story about a boy growing up in the American south west around the time of WWII. His rural family takes in an older woman (Ultima), who is a traditional herbal healer, when he is 6. He explores his traditions, of his father, of his mother, of Ultima, and the Catholic Church, all while trying to find his own voice. Enjoy this captivating story!
My daughter had to read this book for school so I read it as well. Interesting coming of age novel about a young Hispanic boy in the 1940s growing up on the edge of the New Mexico llano (plains). The story involves his struggle with religious belief - he is a Catholic and on the verge of his first communion. His mother wants him to be a Priest. But, he has doubts - Ultima, an older woman who has been taken in by the family, is a pagan healer who many consider to be a "bruja" or witch. He also learns of the legend of the "golden carp", an Aztec tradition, and thinks this may be the way. Along the way he witnesses the deaths of 3 people and is torn by these deaths and how God could allow them. Overall, I would recommend reading this one.
This was a really good book in my opinion. Anaya writes with rich descriptions and paints the beautiful images of little Antonio's life in an equally touching and haunting style. Great for high schoolers and for those who haven't yet lost the magic of their childhoods.
This is a delightful story written by a Mexican-American who is widely read, Rudolpho Anaya. The book won the Premio Quinto Sol, national Chicano literary award. It is the story of six-year-old Antonio Marez who bonds with Ultima, a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under the guidance of this wise woman, Antonio examines family ties that bind him and tear him apart and discovers himself in the magical past.
Antonio is strongly influenced by the church, a curandera named Ultima, witches, and ghosts. It's fascinating to see how these concepts affect Antonio, his family, community and friends. While my college Spanish is rusty, I have plowed through the book and delighted in the childish dreams and fantasies expressed by Antonio. At times I think that Antonio uses vocabulary that is beyond his years but that does not detract from the story. The book is a good in depth look at life in a Spanish family in the 1940s. While this is quite different from much of the historical fiction I have read I found it a fine read!