The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters by Lorraine López
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was very ethnic - there is a lot of Spanish spoken in the beginning of the story. Don't worry, it is not a key factor of the book and only adds to the authenticity of the story. I enjoyed the characters. The plot of the story is very meandering, told over a time of 'Coming of Age' for the Gabaldon sisters, and only apparent until the end.
This is a story of motherhood, of finding mothers, being mothers, and losing mothers. The story is not of magic or fairytale witches, which I found kind of disappointing. I would have read this with a different mindset from the beginning if I had known this. I really did expect a lighter, more fanciful read than the emotional trials of four sisters.
Summary: Having lost their mother in early childhood, the Gabaldón sisters consider Fermina, their elderly Pueblo housekeeper, their surrogate Grandmother. The mysterious Fermina love the girls as if they are her own, and promises to endow each with a "special gift" to be received upon her death.
Mindful of the old woman's mystical ways, the sisters believe Fermina's gifts, bestowed based on their natural talents, magically enhance their lives. The oldest sister, Bette Davis Gabaldón, always teased for telling tales, believes her gift is the power to persuade anyone, no matter how outlandish her story. Loretta Young, who often prefers pets to people, assumes her gift is the ability to heal animals. Tough-talking tomboy, Rita Hayworth believes her gift is the ability to curse her enemies. And finally, Sophia Loren, the baby of the family, is sure her ability to make people laugh is her legacy.
As the four girls grow into women they discover that Fermina's gifts come with complicated strings, and what once seemed simple can confuse over time. Together they learn the truth about their mysterious caretaker, her legacy, and the family secret that was nearly lost forever in the New Mexican desert.
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