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So far from God : a novel
Castillo, Ana.
Adult Fiction CASTILL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Castillo's ( Sapogonia ) inventive but not entirely cohesive novel about the fortunes of a contemporary Chicana family in the village of Tome, N.M., reveals its main concerns at once. Sofi's three-year-old daughter dies in a horrifying epileptic fit but is resurrected (and even levitates) at her own funeral, reporting firsthand acquaintance with hell, purgatory and heaven. Magic and divine intervention in varying ways touch each of Sofi's three other daughters: the eldest, mainstreamed yuppie Esperanza; Caridad, whose path leads toward folk mysticism; and the more mundane Fe, who--seized with a screaming convulsion when her fiance jilts her--is brought to silence only months later through the intercession of the resurrected youngest sister, ``Loca.'' Castillo takes a page from the magical realist school of Latin American fiction, but one senses the North American component of this Chicana voice: in her work, occult phenomena are literal, not symbolic; life is traumatic and brutal--as are men--but death is merely tentative. She sounds a secondary note as a proponent of feminism and social justice, but her hand falters when she attempts to blend the formation of an artisans' cooperative or an industrial toxins scandal into a universe of magical healings and manifestations. Castillo is also a critic, a translator and a poet. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This masterfully written novel by the author of The Mixquiahuala Letters (Anchor: Doubleday, 1992) tells the story of Sofia and her four daughters. The Hispanic family lives in Tome, New Mexico, a small, quiet town whose inhabitants nonetheless directly deal with such current social issues as AIDS, industrial pollution, the volatile political situation in the Middle East, poor people's struggle for self - sufficiency, and the current interest in alternate spirituality and natural medicine. Although filled with tragic events, the narrative also offers hope in its portrayal of successful journeys toward wholeness by each of the five women. Each chapter stands on its own as a complete story, but readers won't be satisfied until they've finished the entire skillfully constructed book. Highly recommended for collections with demand for Hispanic, women's, or spiritual literature.-- Sherri Cutler, Children's Memorial Hosp. Lib ., Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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