Sep 29, 2009

Book Review: The Texicans by Nina Vida


(p. 17)
"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.


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35 comments:

  1. Buy her??? Oh my..great teaser!

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  2. The Texicans sounds interesting! Great tease. Mine is here: http://rundpinne.blogspot.com/2009/09/puzzle-king-teaser-tuesdays.html

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  3. This sounds like a really interesting storyline. thanks for the teaser!

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  4. Very intriguing. You've definitely sparked my interest. Great teaser!

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  5. That is a great teaser! Looking forward to your review.

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  6. Sounds a little insulting. Good teaser.

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  7. Intriguing! I have this in my TBR and you are definitely pushing me towards reading it very soon.

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  8. Ok then! Great teaser this week.

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  9. what a fun teaser, and explanation. Sounds like a good reader. If you want to wander down my road I’m home.

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  10. Wow! Very intriguing. The best book I've ever read, so far, about Texas is Elmer Kelton's The Time It Never Rained. Have you ever heard of it?

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  11. Yikes! To think he wants to buy her! Goodness.

    Great teaser! Here's my Teaser! ~ Wendi

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  12. Nan: Haven't heard of that author but will look out for him.

    Fleurfisher: Hope you enjoy the book!

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  13. I saw this book about a month ago online, and here it is again.. I am starting to enjoy the 'western' genre and I think I would really enjoy this one.
    Definitely a GREAT teaser there!
    Mine is up at The Burton Review.

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  14. How kind of him to consider buying her... NOT! Looks like an interesting read :)

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  15. That is too funny, I will have to look into that book. Thanks for the great teaser.

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  16. Wow - that's kind of disturbing. Might have to check this book out.

    My teaser is here.

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  17. What a chauvinist!! Got my interest for sure :)

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  18. Um, excuse me?? He'd like to BUY her? Fantastic teaser - I definitely need to know what's going on here!

    Here's my Teaser Tuesday.

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  19. This is both an intriguing and a disturbing teaser. Kind of unnerving. It definitely rouses the interest!

    My own teaser is at Bookishgal.

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  20. Buy her? Hmm...very intriguing. Great teaser!

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  21. I've heard about this one. Sounds interesting - a book about my old home town! Nice teaser.

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  22. Buy her? Definitely has increased my curiosity! Great teaser!

    Allison
    Well-Read Reviews

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  23. Wow - that's definitely something, isn't it? Sounds very interesting. Great teaser!

    And thank you for coming by my blog earlier. :)

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  24. my first thought was "nice cover" then I read the teaser and I was "buy her???"

    thanks for commenting on my post

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  25. What a great teaser! This book is on my shelf to read! Now I'm really excited about starting it! Mine is here

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  26. Good teaser. Sounds like an interesting book.

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  27. I've seen this reviewed at a few other places and it sounds like everyone enjoyed it. Need to put it on my must read list!

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  28. i love texas and her history. this looks like it will have to be added to my wish list. thanks for the review.

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  29. great teaser. in fact, the book's title is good, too. Oooo, my booklist is getting plump and plumper!

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