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The Ghost of Milagro Creek

Melanie Sumner

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Description

The story of Ignacia Vigil Romero, a full Jacarilla Apache, and the two boys, Mister and Tomás, she raised to adulthood unfolds in a barrio of Taos, New Mexico—a mixed community of Native Americans, Hispanics, and whites. Now deceased, Ignacia, a curandera—a medicine woman, though some say a witch—begins this tale of star-crossed lovers.

Mister and Tomás, best friends until their late teens, both fall for Rocky, a gringa of some mystery, a girl Tomás takes for himself. But in a moment of despair, a pledge between the young men leads to murder. When Ignacia falls silent, police reports, witness statements, and caseworker interviews draw an electrifying portrait of a troubled community and of the vulnerable players in this mounting tragedy. Set in a terrain that becomes a character in its own right, The Ghost of Milagro Creek brilliantly illuminates this hidden corner of American society. 

Publishers Weekly Review

May 24, 2010 – In her second novel, Sumner (The School of Beauty and Charm) crafts a convincing, despairing portrait of Taos, N.Mex. Ignacia Vigil Romero, a tough Jicarilla Apache medicine woman raising her grandson, Mister, uses charms and spells to aid in her motherly duties and to help her neighbors. After Ignacia succumbs to a long illness, there's no one to stop Mister and his best friend Tomas, who recently had a falling out with his lover, Rocky, from fulfilling their long-held suicide pact. Tomás's gun fails to fire, however, leaving Mister alive—and a murderer. Fleeing the police, Mister seeks Rocky to try and get answers. Sumner's cast and a strong sense of Native American and Latino spirituality create a fascinating portrait of a community, wrapping issues of alcoholism, friendship, parental neglect, and conflicted identity around a multidimensional tragedy. Passages narrated by Ignacia (as a living and dead character) possess appealing energy, though some other chapters—especially involving the police investigation—limp along. Readers will be fascinated by Sumner's Taos, but may find the central drama between Mister and Rocky unsatisfying.
The Ghost of Milagro Creek
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Jul 06, 2010
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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