Queen of America

Little, Brown. Dec. 2011. c.384p. ISBN 9780316154864. $25.99. F
Teresita Urrea, a real-life saint and the author's great-aunt, returns as the heroine of this gritty, bold, and much-anticipated sequel (though it stands alone) to The Hummingbird's Daughter. Picking up where Hummingbird left off, the narrative has Teresita fleeing Mexico with her father following the 19th-century Tomochic rebellion and arriving in Arizona to begin a new chapter of her life just as America is embarking on a new century. A tough but loving healer known as the Saint of Cabora, she eludes assassins while continuing to bestow her powers on the pilgrims that overwhelm her in hopes of being healed. Teresita travels America, experiences baseball for the first time, meets captivating people, and even considers the possibility of love.
VERDICT Fiercely romantic and at times heartbreaking but also full of humor, Urrea's latest novel blends fairy tale, Western adventure, folk tale, and historical drama. Fans of Hummingbird and readers new to Urrea's work will surely enjoy this magnificent, epic novel. [See Prepub Alert, 6/13/11.]
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