June’s book selection for Las Comadres & Friends National Book Club is Rogelia’s House of Magic by Jamie Martinez Wood and published by Delacorte Press. This is Ms. Martinez Wood’s first novel and she has conjured up an enchanting story for young and mature readers to thoroughly be spell-bound by its wide-eyed apprentices and their instinctive teacher.
In brief, Jamie’s life work is to provide her reader a spiritual journey, and she has accomplished her role of guiding the reader into the vague and misinterpreted beliefs of Wicca and curanderismo. Through the magical teachings of a Mexican curandera, a traditional folk healer, three teenagers, Marina, Fern, and Xochitl, journey to self-awareness and initiate an open communication with Nature and all of her mysteries and gifts. Following a summer-long conjuring of trials, errors, wavering, mistrust, and finally witnessing miracle and credence, the girls experience absolute faith.
This is an enjoyable read toward an improved, yet combined understanding of these traditional and spiritual beliefs. Though sharing some commonalities, these beliefs still differ in that they each pertain to a unique culture that give them their own perspective, their own significance, and their own Spirit. Jamie has provided the introductory lesson for these beliefs in this first novel and has laid the foundation to captivate her reader, student, with deeper and elevated literary magic.
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On the motivation to study a foreign language… Mostly I was motivated by my personal relationships/friendships with my Spanish teachers throughout Waldorf [Education]. They were always people who inspired and challenged me.
Ian Pollard Student at the University of Texas at Austin