Reviews of Cantora (1992)
Review by mojosmom (2004-11-30)
This book begins with the narrator, Amparo, discussing her aunt Pilar, who at sixty-seven is afflicted with Alzheimer's. This is the path Amparo takes to discuss memory and family history. "My name is Amparo. Join me here with my aunt. Sit here beside us. Cover yourself with this quilt. My grandmother Rosario made it. Warm yourself with it. The mystery of our lives are to be found in its varicolored threads." From her grandmother Rosario's elopement in 1904 to escape an arranged marriage to her own hunt for the truth about her parentage, Amparo tells her family's story.
Not a bad book, but not a great one, either. I think the difficulty is that the author tried to cover too much territory, and as a result she was unable to cover any of it in depth. I didn't feel that I knew the characters, with a couple exceptions, and even there, their motivations weren't entirely clear. But I'm not sorry I read it.