Born in an Andean village in Ecuador, Virginia lives with her large family in a small, earthen-walled dwelling. In her village of indígenas, it is not uncommon to work in the fields all day, even as a child, or to be called a longa tonta - stupid Indian - by members of the ruling class of mestizos, or Spanish descendants. When seven-year-old Virginia is taken from her village to be a servant to a mestizo couple, she has no idea what the future holds.
In this poignant novel based on a true story, acclaimed author Laura Resau has collaborated with María Virginia Farinango to recount one girl's unforgettable journey to self-discovery.
This book pulls no punches. It does not sugar-coat María Virginia's experiences as a servant for a middle class mestizo family. She is dealt a cruel hand, and Laura Resau deftly writes about the details of her abuse - both physical and emotional - and her dreams of escaping her situation. Not easy stuff to read. But Laura also lyrically writes about Virginia's courage and determination - to learn to read, to understand science, to leave her abusive situation, to become the person she is meant to become - and the ways in which she slowly achieves these goals. An amazing story. (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).
A richly described coming-of-age story set in a culture both foreign and familiar... by turns shocking and funny.
Starred Review. A moving, lyrical novel that will particularly resonate with teens caught between cultures.
Starred Review. [A] riveting tale... Bright spots of humor and warmth are woven throughout, and readers will agonize for Virginia while seething at her tormentors... By turns heartbreaking, infuriating and ultimately inspiring.
Starred Review. The authors' candid narrative richly depicts Virginia's passage from a childhood filled with demoralization to a young woman who sees her life through new eyes.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Louise J Amazing True Story! The story was extremely well-written and I was hooked from the first page and believe a great deal of adults and teenagers will get a lot out of this story. Very well done!
Rated of 5
by stacy email@example.com A lovely book and well worth purchasing. I was engrossed with the intense story of Virginia and really admire her courage. If you can dream it you can do it, that is her motto and I truly enjoyed reading her story.
The Collaboration Between Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango
In the author's note in The Queen of Water, Laura Resau tells the story of walking into María Virginia Farinango's small shop one snowy day. She had met María Virginia once before at the small community college where Laura taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and María Virginia was taking a class with Laura's colleague. Of this meeting she writes:
Because of the weather, [María Virginia's] store was deserted except for the two of us and her toddler son. It felt cozy there, wrapped in musty wool smells. I ended up staying for hours, sitting cross-legged on the floor with her. She told me the story of her life... Throughout her story, the cultural anthropologist in me was riveted, and the writer in me was jumping up and down. I desperately wanted to write this story. María Virginia concluded, 'One of my...
Oldest romance writer in the world dies aged 105. Books #124 and #125 to be published next year(Dec 10 2013) Ida Pollock, author of more than 120 books, and believed to be the world's oldest romantic novelist, has died at the age of 105.