A review by ashleysbookthoughts
The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

challenging mysterious slow-paced


I suggest reading the author’s note prior to beginning this book, because it made some things make a lot more sense (like why the main characters have his same last name). Apparently Teresita, the Hummingbird’s daughter, was a real person and distant relative of the author, and thus a bit of a family legend. I’d never heard of her before picking up this book (and I’d never heard of the book until I got it in my @pageonebooks box). I ended up looking her up and it seems he tried to be faithful to the facts as they’ve been reported. 

I have a hard time with this sort of historical fiction where the characters are real people who really lived and an author is assuming their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It makes me, personally, feel just a bit icky. 

But, Teresita’s story as being and becoming the Saint of Cabora is interesting. I loved the parts of the book that centered her, as opposed to the parts that were focused on her father. I especially loved Huila, the grumpy and unconventional medicine woman who took Teresita under her wing. 

My biggest complaint about the book is that it’s at least 100 pages too long. There were long sections that just listed the events of the day (we got separate lists of each of Tomas’s daily meals in an under two page span) with no sense of purpose. But then other sections were tense and captivating. The pacing was all over the place. 

The book was interesting, but I think I’d rather read a nonfiction account of Teresita’s life. 

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