From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10?As the author acknowledges in her notes, she has condensed about 100 years of history into a very short time period. Through the life of Ipa, a girl of the pueblo society, the culture of the Jumanos unfolds. Ipa and her fellow villagers are peaceful, river farmers living near the Rio Grande in western Texas in the 1500s. With the arrival of the Spanish explorers and, soon after, the slavers, the destruction of her people's lifestyle begins. The first encounter is peaceful, and Ipa is actually fascinated by and attracted to Rodrigo, who treats her and her younger brother, Kadoh, with kindness and affection. However, when the slavers arrive, Ipa, Kadoh, and Xucate, her strong-willed and beautiful cousin, are taken from their homes. Ipa, who is skilled in the uses of herbal medicine, is protected by the padres at the mission. Xucate is not so fortunate. Given to the brutal overseer at the silver mine, she is repeatedly beaten and assaulted. When she becomes pregnant, she escapes with Ipa's help, only to die in childbirth. Ipa takes the child and goes back to what is left of her village. Eventually Rodrigo finds her again and asks her to marry him. Ipa agrees and begins her journey to a new life in Mexico City. Although the historical details are effectively woven throughout this well-paced story, the character development lacks depth and subtlety and resembles an old Hollywood movie in which the good are good, the bad are bad, and an upbeat ending is a prerequisite. Ipa, in particular, is a disappointment. Although her people have been brutalized and destroyed, she remains a perennial innocent and seems fundamentally unscathed by the tragedy that has engulfed everyone else. She is just too submissive and naive and could use a "reality check."?Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7^-10. Despite the challenges of drought and floods and raids by other tribes, Ipa-tah-chi looks forward to a long, productive life as wife of the leader of a neighboring tribe. But then Spanish conquistadors attack, killing her husband-to-be and taking Ipa and others as slaves to work the silver mines. Ipa adjusts to life in the Spanish village, utilizing her healing arts to care for the sick and injured, until her brother suffers a serious injury and her cousin is raped by the mine owner. When Ipa tries to help them escape, she finds herself charged with murder. Characterizations are somewhat weak, and Garland's suggestion of a happy ending (Ipa goes off to join a handsome, tender-hearted Spaniard who has fallen in love with her) contrasts sharply with her depiction of the destruction brought about by the conquistadors and the strained relations between the Spanish and the neighboring mission. Even so, she brings a little-known historical period to life, portraying a doomed culture with romance and adventure. Karen Hutt
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.