Bless Me, Ultima

By Rudolfo Anaya

It’s been three weeks since I’ve returned from a visit to NYC on a not fun plane trip and a really long time since I’ve posted here.

And I read most of this book on this excruciating journey.  The woman who was sitting next to me joked about me finishing the book before we even took off.  (We were on the tarmac for just under three hours before we given clearance to take off).  I did not finish it before leaving NY, but I did finish before I arrived back home in Tucson.

I was a great book to have on hand on the airplane and airport.  It was moderately paced, which was perfect for my needs.  If it had been fast paced, I probably would have finished it before taking off and then I would have been stuck with the in-flight magazine.  If it had been slower, I probably would have lost interest and been stuck with the in-flight magazine. 

The story gave my sleep deprived brain plenty to mull over when I took a break from reading to try to sleep.  There was the wind swept llano where the story was set, with its small towns  and pueblos.  There was also the River of Carp, where the Golden Carp lived and was only glimpsed in the summertime.   While Antonio may have seemed a bit young  for some of the big issues he was dealing with, the fact that the story was set in the golden age of the end of World War II helped give the story a more mythic tone.  It certainly allowed me to enter a magical world outside of my cramped airplane and ghostly Dallas – Fort Worth airport at two in the morning.

I chose this book for my book club to read and was happy to hear that the woman who had groaned over the choice really enjoyed it.

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Grand Central Publishing, 1972

Genre: General fiction

Format: Mass media paperback

ISBN: 9780446600255

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: 262

Setting: New Mexico

Time period: mid 1940’s

Other: Diversity – Latinos, curandera, witches, brujo, vaqueros

Subject headings:

From Pima County Public Library:

Mexican Americans — New Mexico — Fiction.

Healers — New Mexico — Fiction.

Grandparent and child — New Mexico — Fiction.

Mexican American families — New Mexico — Fiction.

Mexican American children — New Mexico — Fiction.

New Mexico — Fiction.

Bildungsromans.

Similar works:

Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Flamenco Academy by Sarah Bird

 

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