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This book is beautifully written and I had the added pleasure of listening to the unabridged audiobook read by the author. This meant that each Mexican name or word was perfectly pronounced and the pace and timing of the poetic prose was set forth before me just as it was intended to be heard. As Urrea explains in an interview, this book is a blend of nonfiction (years and years of research), poetry and storytelling. This exquisite combination brings Teresita, soon to become the Saint of Cabora, magically to life in Nineteenth Century Mexico.
The first half is great...
Generally, I enjoyed The Hummingbird's Daughter. The characters are (mostly) full and compelling, and the first half of the book is especially rich in detail and sharp prose. My one complaint is that the second half of the novel - which contains most of Teresita's miracles and the uprising of the revolution - seems to lose its narrative drive. In fact, the entire revolution subplot, which I thought would be a major factor in the second half, feels sporadic and at times forced to me. Still, Urrea's book is a fun read overall.