Review Detail4.2 5
"Bless Me, Ultima" is a very strange book, mixing reality and myth and exploring deep religious questions, all during the course of young Antonio's coming-of-age. The youngest son of a Hispanic American family at the end of World War Two, young Tony is torn between the desires of his wandering father and those of his pious mother, who wishes him to become a priest. Added to the mix is the arrival of Umtima, an elderly friend of the family who is called a witch by some and has strong healing powers. It is she who ultimately brings out Tony's true self, and answers some of the boy's questions while causing him to wonder over many more.
A mixture of magic realism, realistic school boy shenanigans (the scene with the Christmas pagent literally had me laughing out loud), and tragic drama, "Bless Me, Ultima" defies traditional labels but should be read by anyone who enjoys a good story!