When a woman dies and leaves a father to raise four daughters and one son, an older woman stays with the family to help. When you have an Hispanic family though and the older woman is a Pueblo Indian, the mixing of the cultures will definitely make all their lives more interesting. The girls respect but do not truly appreciate Fermina until she is dying and she bestows an individual gift upon each of the four girls. One seems to have the gift of healing, another storytelling, one has the art of making others laugh, and one seems to be able to curse someone else. As the girls become women, they each go their separate ways and wonder more about their natural abilities and about the woman who raised them, Fermina.
Learning about the atrocities of Fermina's past, living through a short study about some of those rare people who had to leave behind the life style of a native Americans to become "civilized" was a lesson for the girls to see the pain and understand the strength of Fermina in her beliefs and love for the girls. This novel is a journey on the discovery of who Fermina really was.
The strength of this novel is definitely in the discovery of how the pains of the past develop strengths in each individual's character. Also, the diversity of the girl's lives and their gifts being used throughout their changes and acceptance of each other, imparts another parallel journey for each of them.
When the women get together to visit relatives or go to their brother's wedding, all their lives are intertwined with Fermina who died twenty-years previously. The discovery of who she really was and where she came from is the drive throughout this novel.
The characters were lovable, believable, sometimes self-centered, and overall, delightful. The story moved quickly and should not be considered a Hispanic novel, but a novel for everyone.
Lorraine Lopez had a doctorate degree in English through the Creative Writing Program at the University of Georgia. She has previously written SOY LA AVON LADY AND OTHER STORIES and a young adult book, CALL ME HENRI.
My one question in this book was why there was a reader discussion page in Spanish and English. That seemed a little strange considering this book was in English.
Overall though, THE GIFTED GABALDON SISTERS is definitely a delightful book to read.
REVIEWED BY TERI DAVIS
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