The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters

By Lorraine López (Trade Paperback, 2008)
Having lost their mother in early childhood, the Gabaldón sisters consider Fermina, their elderly Pueblo housekeeper, their surrogate Grandmother. The mysterious Fermina love the girls as if they are her own, and promises to endow each with a "special gift" to be received upon her death.

Mindful of the old woman's mystical ways, the sisters believe Fermina's gifts, bestowed based on their natural talents, magically enhance their lives. The oldest sister, Bette Davis Gabaldón, always teased for telling tales, believes her gift is the power to persuade anyone, no matter how outlandish her story. Loretta Young, who often prefers pets to people, assumes her gift is the ability to heal animals. Tough-talking tomboy, Rita Hayworth believes her gift is the ability to curse her enemies. And finally, Sophia Loren, the baby of the family, is sure her ability to make people laugh is her legacy.

As the four girls grow into women they discover that Fermina's gifts come with complicated strings, and what once seemed simple can confuse over time. Together they learn the truth about their mysterious caretaker, her legacy, and the family secret that was nearly lost forever in the New Mexican desert.
  • Grand Central Publishing
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $12.99 US/$14.50 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780446699211

    • On Sale Date: 10/01/2008

    • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

    • Imprint: Grand Central Publishing

    Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Electronic Book

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Having lost their mother in early childhood, the Gabaldón sisters consider Fermina, their elderly Pueblo housekeeper, their surrogate Grandmother. The mysterious Fermina love the girls as if they are her own, and promises to endow each with a "special gift" to be received upon her death.

Mindful of the old woman's mystical ways, the sisters believe Fermina's gifts, bestowed based on their natural talents, magically enhance their lives. The oldest sister, Bette Davis Gabaldón, always teased for telling tales, believes her gift is the power to persuade anyone, no matter how outlandish her story. Loretta Young, who often prefers pets to people, assumes her gift is the ability to heal animals. Tough-talking tomboy, Rita Hayworth believes her gift is the ability to curse her enemies. And finally, Sophia Loren, the baby of the family, is sure her ability to make people laugh is her legacy.

As the four girls grow into women they discover that Fermina's gifts come with complicated strings, and what once seemed simple can confuse over time. Together they learn the truth about their mysterious caretaker, her legacy, and the family secret that was nearly lost forever in the New Mexican desert.

Lorraine López is an Assistant Professor of English in the Creative Writing Program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She won the 2003 Independent Publishers Book Award for Multicultural Fiction, awarded by the Jenkins Group, for Soy la Avon Lady and other Stories. The same work also won the 2003 Latino Book Award for Short Stories, awarded by the Latino Literary Hall of Fame. In 2001, López was awarded the Inaugural Miguel Marmol Prize for Fiction, selected by Sandra Cisneros and awarded by Curbstone Press, for a first book-length work of fiction of a Latino/a writer.
  • "A vibrant and memorable collection."

  • "The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters is a laugh-aloud funny and lay-your-head-down-and-cry lyrical tour of melded cultures and traditions, of blended tongues, and the sites of the inevitable clashes between worlds; it is a window into the strange conjunctions that exist as parallel universes in today's multicultural America. The result is wisdom and delight, delight and wisdom."

  • "The four Gabaldon sisters were named by their mother Bette Davis, Loretta Young, Rita Hayworth, and Sophia Loren. However, their mother died young, so rather than be raised to emulate movie stars, they were raised by Fermina, their elderly Pueblo housekeeper, with mysterious mystical rituals, promises, curses, and gifts. The sisters tell their stories in turn over a period of 20 years, from 1966 to 1987; their narrations are interspersed with Works Progress Administration reports from the 1930s about Fermina. As the girls grow up, they wonder more and more about their family's and Fermina's mysterious unhappy pasts and about Fermina's dying gifts. Occasionally reminiscent of the novels of Cristina Garcia and Sandra Cisneros, Lopez's book presents a lively, loving Latino family. Lopez's Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories was awarded the Independent Publishers Book Award for Multicultural Fiction and the Latino Book Award for Short Stories; she has also published Call Me Henri, a novel for young adults. Includes reading group guides in English and Spanish. Highly recommended for public library collections."

  • "Lopez's engaging novel chronicles how four sisters' lives are shaped by the early loss of their mother and their belief that they were granted magical abilities upon the death of an enigmatic loved one. Bette, the eldest Gabaldón sister, is a preteen in the late 1960s when Fermina, the family's beloved and very old housekeeper, dies, and Bette and her sister Loretta tell the younger girls, Rita and Sophia, that Fermina gave them all special powers. As the siblings grow up, they long for more information about the mysterious Fermina, particularly as their supposed talents continue to manifest: Bette is a preternaturally good liar; Loretta can heal animals; Rita can offhandedly hex people; and Sophia can make people laugh. The author skillfully writes from different points of view and teases out Fermina's background in a satisfying way as the sisters try to learn more about her story. Lopez establishes herself as an excellent storyteller with this multilayered tale of sisterhood, growing up, self-awareness and honoring history."

  • "The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters is about secrets and lies, dramas and scandals, big losses and deep resentments-the very stuff that makes life worth living. It's been a long time since I've encountered such a rambunctious and motley bunch of characters. And in López's hands, through her finely calibrated prose, they lift off the page with dignity and soul, and she makes you root and ache for each of them until the very end."

  • "Enchanting debut."

  • "Lorraine López didn't set out to write a book that challenged narrow perceptions of Latino culture, but that's just what she has done with her richly imagined new novel."

Formats

Product Details

The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Price: $12.99 US/$14.50 CAN
  • Pages: 336
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/4" x 8"
  • Audio Run Time: 0
  • ISBN-13: 9780446699211
  • On Sale Date: 10/01/2008
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