PRESS

"In the interest of full disclosure, I know the author. She took a seminar from me in April in Tuscany...  The book combines magical realism with historical fiction. It has at least a dozen excellent female characters: strong, decisive, determined to survive. The sense of place is extraordinarily well rendered. The writing is deceptively simple... I enjoyed it greatly." 

~ Elizabeth George, Author

"[A] compelling debut....beautifully told by Llanos-Figueroa, this is an unforgettable saga of the magical beliefs binding one family for generations." 

~ Booklist

"The best fiction allows the reader to believe that the stories—critical dispatches not so far removed from reality—could be true. Llanos-Figueroa's deeply personal work is a landmark example of a people's history that, while fictionalized, is nevertheless wholly true to life." 

~ Brittany Shoot

ColorLines stories

"In her first novel, Llanos-Figueroa chronicles the experiences of a seldom-discussed group, the descendants of African slaves in Puerto Rico. In a straightforward narrative style, sprinkled with magic realism, the book relates the stories passed from mother to daughter through five generations of powerful women, beginning with Fela, a proud West African who brings a stone of great power with her into slavery. Fela's daughter Mati uses the stone to become a curandera, or healer. In succeeding generations, each of Fela's female descendants alternately discovers her powers and then rejects them, experiences the failure of a husband to understand her needs, and makes mistakes with her daughter. Finally, Fela's great-great granddaughter Carisa returns to Puerto Rico from New York, rescues her ancestral stories from oblivion, and brings the power of the stone full circle. VERDICT This commanding exploration of women's history will resonate with readers of strong African American feminist narratives like those of Toni Morrison and Ntozake Shange. With its unflinching description of slavery, it should also appeal to readers of slave narratives like Charles Johnson's Middle Passage and Manu Herbstein's Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade. [Library marketing.]"

~ Andrea Kempf

Johnson County Community College
 

Mellon Foundation
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