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Bless Me, Ultima Paperback – April 1, 1999
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Since the author is from Northern New Mexico and the book takes place in two real small villages called Las Pasturas and Puerto de Lunas wich are located North of New Mexico i think Rodulfo Anaya put a little bit of his life experience into the story to remark the origins of a culture that tends to dissapear as new Chicano generations come to this world which makes the book more exciting and more valuable.
I really enjoyed reading this book because i could follow the story very well considering that english is my second languaje and that i'm still having some problems with grammar and sentence structures and because i like reading mythical stories and i'm very familiar with them. Another aspect of this book that i liked and i found familiar was that New Mexican culture and Colombian and Latin Americna culture in general have a lot of things in common such as believing in ghosts, witches, curses, spirits, etc; and that the religion is the same and that there are not really too many differences within it.
Antonio's life is forever altered when his aunt Ultima, a curandera (healer) comes to live with the family; she teaches Antonio many things, most importantly how to gather the self-knowledge that will help carry him into adulthood.
The book is about a young Mexican boy, Antonio Marez, growing up in New Mexico during the mid 1940s. It begins when he is six years old, and Ultima, a curandera or healing woman, comes to live with his family because she is getting too old to live by herself. Through Ultima's gentle guidance and support, Antonio faces his uncertainties and learns to go on with life.
Antonio's parents are opposites, his father being a Marez, people of the llano (the desert land in New Mexico), and his mother being a Luna, farmers and people of the moon and the earth. His father wants Antonio to grow up free to roam the land and become a vaquero, as he once was. His mother wants Antonio to be a priest, a man of learning. Antonio is torn between them regarding his future.
Throughout the story, Antonio also faces confusion over religion and spirituality. Ultima believes in God, but she also believes and works magic. But there is no evil in Ultima and Antonio is confused over Catholicism. His mother wants him to become a priest, and though he does believe in God, he wants understanding from Him, answers to his many questions.
From a very young age, Antonio witnesses death. Death of a war-crazed man, Lupito. Death of a good family friend, Narcisco. And finally the unjust death of Ultima, killed by an evil man vowing revenge on Ultima for the death of his two daughters who were brujas (witches).
Through the trials he is faced with and the death of his beloved mentor, Ultima, Antonio learns to go on with life and leave the past behind. He realizes the power of good over evil and understands that truth is more powerful than that which is prescribed by custom.Read more ›
Anaya is a great storyteller, and this book certainly does not lack in action. The supernatural element is very strong, and very compelling, and the novel leaves a strong impression of unity and harmony with nature, even in the face of a very real and very powerful evil. This struggle of faith is very well represented in the book.
I do have a few objections to the book. First of all, Tony is a VERY young man, yet he seems to have a maturity level that few adults ever achieve. He speaks very correctly, and ponders things which no seven year old kid has probably ever dreamed of. Also, the actual story is sometimes a little shaky, such as when Narciso is murdered and the jury rules it a suicide (though they found no gun anywhere near where he was shot to death). These are relatively small objections, though, and do not detract from a good book.
This novel is worth reading, even if most of the characters ask questions that don't end with a question mark. Hey, no writer is perfect. It is certainly worth reading, and provides an interesting insight to the unique culture of the Southwest.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Appreciate this author...as a fellow New Mexican, have read every book he has ever written (well, the published, anyway).Published 16 days ago by ntoto2
This book was amazing. I really enjoyed it. I did not want to put it down. I think everyone should read it.Published 24 days ago by allinun
I realize this is a classic so I don't think there is much more I could add to the conversation but I really enjoyed the book.Published 1 month ago by AmazonMom
Um...this boy looks longingly at his mother's breast through her wet nightgown every night...weird, gross, incestuous, I cannot relate. The plotline was uninteresting to me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bright Side
Read from October 02 to 13, 2015
I should never try to review books months after I've read them because my recall is crap. Read more
Delves into a number of interesting topics for younger readers - organized religion vs other forms of spirituality; "coming of age"; family dynamics. Read morePublished 1 month ago by chi lady