Summer of the Mariposas
Guadalupe Garcia McCall
It's been a while, I've had a lot going one, but Maria and I are back.
Today we discuss the first part of Summer of the Mariposa's called The Depature. Check out our cover discussion below.
Don't forget to stop by Maria's Melange and get her take on the first part of McCall's book.
Summer of the Mariposa's was nominated for an Andre Norton award for 2013. If you are looking for some Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy reads, check out The Andre Norton Award for ideas.
Week 2 - The Departure - pgs 1 - 102
This first part covers the discovery of the body, an introduction to Odilia, the story of Llorona, and the beginning of the heroine's journey. Weirdly, I love the paper in this book. It feels luxurious to my hand! Can I say that I agree? I love books that feel lovely. I’m particularly hooked on the trend for silky feeling covers. (This book didn’t have that feature, but many recent releases have.)
The Call to Adventure
In this first summer where the moms not around to call the shots, Odilia and her sisters decide they just want to have fun. As they are out at their favourite swimming hole, the come across a dead body. Juanita decides they need to take the man’s body back to his family.
Here we see the relationship of the sisters unfold. They are the Cinco Hermanitas- the five Garza sisters- together forever, no matter what! We have Odilia, the oldest at fifteen, is like a second mom and the voice of reason. Juanita, fourteen, is the compassionate one. The twins Delia and Velia, 13, are the heck raising middle sisters and Pita, 10, just wants to be taken care of, to stay the baby a little while longer. It will be interesting to see what role each girl plays as we move through the novel. I discuss this, too! I love how almost any student will be able to find a mirror for their own family role in this group.
Refusal Of the Call
Odilia refuses the call at first. I love how she thought she was tricking the sisters but they'd already worked a plan. What would have happened if she hadn’t jumped in the car? I adore how she tries to be in charge, but is forced to change her plans. It seems like the girls know each other really well.
I'd never heard the story of La Llorona! I did find mentions of several picture books that recount the story of the Legendary Weeping Woman who drowned her own children and hope to pick them up soon.. It would be interesting to have students find and compare several versions of the story. It would also be interesting to compare those tales to the Llorona we meet. I adore mythical stories from other cultures. I need to learn more about this one.
When she gets the earring, I thought each ring would somehow help each sister directly since the earring has five rings. Does the number five hold significance in Mexican culture? I had a similar thought, but didn’t write about it. There was also a scene with the 5 shooting stars. I’d love to know if it just ties to the girls, or if 5 is a magical number in this culture.
Crossing the Threshold
“I listened to my inner nut and sped out of the caseta, leaving behind everything that was familiar and normal and full of life and crossing over the threshold into the darkness of a dead man’s life.”
Not much else I can say here. I love that sentence. The cadence. How she didn’t use commas and used ands so you can feel the rhythm and pretend you were driving with the Hermanitas! I loved this, too!
Belly of the Whale
This section was, by far, my favorite part of the novel. Things took a darker turn and here we will see how the sisters stick together and Odilia will for sure come into her own! I want to find out about the dead man, and how he came to be in the river, and why his children are so much older than the pictures? Why don’t they miss him?? What did he do? I’m so glad we’re done chatting about this section now so I can plunge into the next part of the tale!
OverallI am not sure what I think! I like it but so many things happened in my personal life this month that reading was pushed aside. Which meant having to scramble to do my committee reading. Which meant this fun reading felt like less fun. I don’t think it’s the book. Things should start easing up since I’m practically done with work. I’ve had weeks like that - weeks where I felt like “it’s not the book, it’s me” felt real. I hope that now that things are calming down you’ll be able to relax and enjoy.