"I've been thinking and thinking about Aurelia," Willie said to Oscar after Luz picked the baby up and took it inside. "I don't want to marry her, you see, but I'd like to buy her."It's April 1844 in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas on the outskirts of San Antonio. Willie has heard about Aurelia's gift as a curer, a healer, and came to her because of a stomach disorder. Her family is poor and a marriage to Willie would be beneficial.
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Should Be Reading Choose two sentences from your current read, and add the author and title for readers.
From the publisher's description:
"Joseph, a Polish-Jewish school teacher has become a rancher by chance. He marries Katrin, an orphaned immigrant from Alsace, to save her from an Indian chief, but he becomes obsessed with Aurelia, a Mexican girl who may be a witch. Together with two runaway slaves, and assorted Comanches, Tonkaways, and vaqueros, they struggle to settle in Texas. This is a gripping story of their trials and tribulations."
When I started the book, I didn't know what a "Texican" was, so looked it up in the Urban Dictionary online, which gave several meanings:
1. A person living in Texas during the time of the Republic of Texas. A person modern who advocates that Texas secede from the United States.
2. A native Texan of Mexican descent. 3. A Texan of Mexican ancestry. 4. A Mexican born in Texas.
5. A Texican is person of European descent in Texas. A Tejano is a person of Hispanic descent in Texas. 6. A Mexican living in Texas.
The novel includes all the above, the various people that make up the residents of Texas in the 1840s. This would also include the Comanches and other native Indian tribes.
The novel's main character is Joseph, a Polish-Jewish former school teacher who heads from Missouri to Texas after his brother's death there. Joseph meets a European girl in Texas who becomes his wife, and later meets a Mexican woman Aurelia, with whom he becomes obsessed.
Comments: The author is a skilled storyteller with excellent descriptions that evoke the time, the surroundings, and the people.
"The braves came home from the hunt with forty bison. They crossed the Colorado and rode into camp. Ten Elk riding ahead, the women laden down with supplies and dragging the butchered bison along behind them until the ground turned bloody and the bison meat was studded with gravel and dirt." (ch. 6)
I think of this as an historical novel telling the story of the variety of Texicans who lived in, settled in, and made up the new Republic of Texas.
Thanks to Nina Vida for a copy of the book for review.