Saturday, June 9, 2012
The Queen of Water by Laura Resau, Maria Viriginia Farinango
What made the most impact on me while I was reading this book was the knowledge that this novel is based on a true story. As I've heard it said: Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction.
Random House Teen Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you). It has been published, so you can find a copy at local bookstore now.
Virginia was born in a small Andean village in Ecuador and lived in an earthen-walled dwelling. Her family ate potatoes for the most part; meat was only eaten on special occasions. Virginia never got the big potato either, it always went to a special visitor or her Papito. She helps in the fields and sees no life ahead of her except more of the same. Then everything changes...
Her parents send her away with a more wealthy family who assured them all sorts of riches and treats would be given to her in her home. They just wanted her to take care of their child. What they really wanted was a slave and she got none of the promised items.
This is the true fictionalized story of Ms. Farinango's life. You really feel her pain from physical abuse to the emotional trauma about who she is, where she is now, and who she would like to be. What she's left behind is still part of her, but does she want to admit her past?
I found this to be a very interesting insight into practices in other countries. I already knew life was different on the other side of the pond; my grandparents were immigrants. My grandmother was basically given to my grandfather as a bride because he offered goods for her. Poor people do many things just for survival. This is the story of a young girl who grew into a beautiful woman and overcame the challenges she faced. Think you'd be so brave?
Why not let your young adult read this book and talk about the things that happen in it? I think it would be eye-opening for both of you.