Oh so bored. Ever so bored. Someone entertain me. Maybe I’ll read. I just finished reading this book, The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters. Eh… it was ok. I picked it up because it sounded interesting and am curious to see how other Hispanic writers present their stories and their characters. I wasn’t as disappointed with it as I was with the last fluffy novel I read. I can’t even remember the title. It had a sibling pair, a rather irreverent woman and her brother the priest. Yeah, I know… I couldn’t help myself, I had to read it and see how that relationship worked out. She was older and the brother left the priesthood for a woman. He fathered a child with her. Shocking, I know. I wonder when the priest character will ever leave for a cute guy? Heh… I am kidding, though I’m sure it’s been written. I just like to see a priest character who isn’t involved in a scandal and is actually content with being a priest, well adjusted and doesn’t leave the priesthood. Oh, who’d want to read about that?
Here’s the book. I found it here. Pack Up The Moon.
Anyway, I liked the GGS in many ways and in others, I didn’t like it. In my story universe, I’m also writing about four sisters, however, the main characters of two of my stories are actually about their daughters. In the GGS, all the characters including the brother were given the names of Hollywood Stars… like Bette Davis Gabaldon or Rita Hayworth Gabaldon. I thought that was kinda silly but then I’m a traditionalist and name characters with more traditional names, however, two of my sister characters are named from Hollywood stars– only their first names, hence I have a Rita and an Ava.
The author of the book has ties to NM and I suspect must have grown up in LA. She painted a pretty good picture of LA in the 60s or 70s. At least I’m assuming that she did. The characters visited Santa Fe, and while she got a few things down, it bugged me that she spelled chile with an I at the end. New Mexicans are very, very picky about how that word is spelled. We spell it like the country. She, too has a character that is enigmatic. She was a Navajo woman, raised virtually as a servant in a Spanish family, who upon giving birth to children were raised by the family who took her in. One was actually adopted out. The old woman character knew about healing, said the girls all possessed specific gifts and would get them when the old woman died. She died but really gave them nothing, but the girls wondered what they were. This is where I found the story weak. The characters kept looking for their “gifts” only to discover they weren’t what they thought they were.
Anyway, in one of my stories, I have an old woman, also kind of enigmatic, who thinks she can predict futures and tells the children that they’ll all have wonderful lives, except for Lena, who is my main character. I haven’t quite figured out exactly what she tells her as a child but from that moment one, she wants nothing to do with the old Tia (aunt) and it turns out the old Tia was especially fond of Lena and was only trying to warn her or protect her. Somehow I’ll mirror their lives somehow. I’ve been working on this new twist in my story. But the old Tia was a curandera (a healer) and not a witch. It turns out the the old auntie turns out to have a rather interesting back story and now I have to work that in.
Obviously, I’m not trying to compare my works in progress with other already published works, but it is interesting to see how similar elements and themes are portrayed in modern fiction.