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Bless Me, Ultima
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 »
ISBN-13: 9780446600255
ISBN-10: 0446600253
Publication Date: 4/1/1994
Pages: 272
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 124 ratings
Publisher: Warner Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Bless Me, Ultima on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
* * * * A young boy growing up in old New Mexico amidst Catholicism, spiritualism, and the conflict between them. He learns life's lessons from his grandmother who comes to live with the family.

Great novel. Much symbolism abounds in this small powerful book.

DRAWBACK FOR THE NON-SPANISH SPEAKER: The author lends the book authenticity by using many Latin idiomatic expressions, without a translation. Dictionary required.
reviewed Bless Me, Ultima on
Helpful Score: 3
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!
reviewed Bless Me, Ultima on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a wonderful book. Southwestern Literature at its best.
reviewed Bless Me, Ultima on + 212 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was deeply moving and well written. If you are Catholic it will make more sense as there is allot of symbolism regarding the Catholic faith.
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reviewed Bless Me, Ultima on + 696 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Bless Me, Ultima on
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.
reviewed Bless Me, Ultima on + 954 more book reviews
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!

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