Advance reader reviews of The Ghost of Milagro Creek by Melanie Sumner.

The Ghost of Milagro Creek

By Melanie Sumner

The Ghost of Milagro Creek
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2010,
    272 pages.

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There are currently 21 member reviews
for The Ghost of Milagro Creek
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  • Karen H. (Auburn, MA)


    Interesting, but hard to follow
    I really wanted to thoroughly enjoy this book! Instead I only got about halfway there. I loved how the story was told through the eyes of the old witch, and how it weaved in the lives of the children. The writing style gave it a fairy-tale/folk-tale feel that drew me in, but the story jumped around in a way that didn't feel cohesive. Sometimes jumping around can add to a story line, but in this case it took away from it. Not 5 stars, but an interesting and different read.
  • Julia A. (New York, NY)


    Magical Realism
    This book is reminiscent of the best Spanish American magical realism novels. the experiences of the Jicarilla Apache, Hispanic and Caucasian residents of the barrio of Taos New Mexico are recounted skillfully by Sumner, who succeeds in capturing all three voices. The novel weaves in events that took place between 1986 and 2001, with the main events occurring over Easter Weekend of 2001. That symbolism is a bit heavy handed, but not enough to distract from this fine novel.

    For those who lead reading groups, a set of discussion questions is included. But even without them, the mystical, magical, folk wisdom aspects of this novel give much food for thought and discussion. the more finely drawn characters are the two women, Ignacia/"Abuela," the Jicarilla Apache raising two boys, and Rocky, the gringa they both come to love. The tragedy between the boys when they become young men, Mister and Tomas, though foreshadowed, leaves the reader a bit shell-shocked. It's been several days since I finished "The Ghost of Milago Creek," but I'm still thinking about it and asking myself questions that don't have easy answers. Melanie Sumner is a writer to watch.
  • Deb Y. (Blanco, TX)


    Hard to Categorize
    This book, The Ghost of Milagro Creek, is a most unusual book, set in the Southwest, and, for me, as the title of my review states, it was hard to categorize. I couldn't compare it to anything I remember reading before. The language was perfect, however, such that I didn't want to miss a word...I would recommend it, not to regular bestseller readers, but to someone looking for an interesting, well-written, "hard to categorize" novel.
  • Sharon W. (Two Rivers, WI)


    The Ghost of Milagro Creek
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. One of the reasons that I wanted to read this was that it had Native American Indian in it. I have some Native American in me so I could relate to parts of the book. It was interesting to read about the different things that were done to help someone get better.
  • Marion T. (Palatine, IL)


    The Ghost of Milagro Creek
    Not worth the time spent on reading this book. I found the characters very one dimensional and little plot development. Though the really looked forward to this book after reading the summary, Melanie Sumner missed the mark.
  • Teresa C. (Pickerington, OH)


    The Ghost of Milagro Creek
    Although this book was not my usual genre I did enjoy it. The author did an excellent job of allowing the reader to witness events both past and present using different narrators...I felt this added to the insight of both the plot as it unfolded as well as to the character development. What I enjoyed most was exposure to a culture I haven't really read much on....a combination of contemporary Native American and Hispanic cultures.
  • Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)


    The Ghost of Milagro Creek
    Melanie Sumner had a good idea for a story, and I really wanted to like this book. The story is set in the Taos, New Mexico area, and sometimes her descriptions were so good that I really felt I got a good sense of not only the area, but also the culture. However, her chapters kept jumping around, not only in time but also in the character speaking. It sometimes took a paragraph or two to figure out who was speaking. This jumping around also interfered with my forming an attachment to the characters.

    A sense of mysticism is developed throughout the book, but this only serves as a detraction from the story itself. The author's love of the area is evident, and she does a good job painting a beautiful picture of the Mexican/Indian cultures.
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