Maria Ines Hardcover – October 19, 2016
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From the Back Cover
“With impressive research and detail, Anne Schroeder writes in a voice of authority. She has created a vivid depiction of a people, the Salinan of California, in the first half of the 19th century.”
―Lucia St. Clair Robson, award-winning author of Ride the Wind and Last Train from Cuernavaca
“This is an enjoyable and informative read for those interested in California history and its native peoples. It is an accurate portrayal of the Salinan Indian experience. Cruel injustice occurred in many forms during mission secularization, the gold rush, and early statehood. Maria Inés’s poignant story was replayed many times throughout rugged California but our ancestors survived to contribute to who we are today.”
―Suzanne Pierce Taylor, Salinan Elder and author of The Ancestors Speak
About the Author
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Hardcover : 229 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1432832773
- ISBN-10 : 1432832778
- Product Dimensions : 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
- Publisher : Five Star Publishing; 01 Edition (October 19, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,828,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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First there is the grandmother who moves into the mission at San Antonio, and then San Miguel. Then there is her mother who struggles with the diseases spread by the Spanish soldiers. Her only child, Maria, is born and somehow survives hunger, a life worse than slavery, roaming bandits and murderers. This novel is very fully developed by the author who researched hundreds of sources including the descendants of the Salinan Indians who are central to this book.
Because of this and how well the author captures the spirit of these Indians, Maria became a real person to me, not just a character in a novel. I already knew a little about the hardships of the Indians of California and the struggles that the mission priests had with succession of governors who demanded oppressive taxes, loyalty, and the labor of the Indians. It’s amazing how some of the Indians hung on to their faith in their padres and religion!
Here and there are glimmers of hope, often crushed during “The Time of Troubles,” a time lasting many generations. It pained me to feel the depth of their suffering, so I could not read large chunks; I had to process the vivid desperation these people faced, and how amazing it was that some survived. Maria Ines is a symbol of the spirit of these people, and all those of whatever race and situation who cling to hope, especially in their faith in God.
I appreciate how tenderly and reservedly the author deals with the emotions of such people. The writing is descriptive but not maudlin, very factual yet fleshed-out in characters who became as real to me as my closest friends. I reread many passages that were so touching and memorable, even though they explored grief and hardship. Since I lived in or visited many of the places in this book, her descriptions added so much more depth to my memories.
Yes, because of MARIA INES I’ve lived at least three more lives. That’s what such a creative, deeply researched historical book can do to readers. I recommended it highly, not just to Californians but to all readers who want to deeply understand “real” people who suffered and overcame great odds against their very survival as a people
Verified Amazon customer
Anne Schroeder has written a thoughtful, wrenching story of Maria Inés, raised in the Missions, devoted to her padres and their god. Her only attachment to the old ways is the occasional apparition of a departed Grandmother, who counsels and comforts her. The story of alienation and loss, experience by Indian tribes throughout early American history, is doubly tragic here since most Indian people who were forced to live at the Missions, like Maria Inés, embraced the invaders’ culture without being accepted into that culture.
Most Mission Indians were reasonably content with their lot until secularization under a newly-independent Mexico changed everything. Padres became parish priests, and mission lands were distributed and sold. Maria and other Indians whose lives were intimately tied to their Mission were adrift. Bandits preyed on the helpless, and Maria sees her husband murdered. In desperation, she gives up her son to be cared for by another woman.
This is a well-written story of love and loss. A chronicle of a woman, strong in her devotion to family and to an alien god that seemed to have abandoned her. Meticulously researched, a good read.