Title: Thirteen Senses: A Memoir
Publisher: Rayo September 2001
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Fine (F)
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.
Near Fine with near fine dust Jacket. Victor Villase?or brings readers into the Bonnie-and-Clyde-like world of his colorful, immigrant family: a world set in Depression-era Southern California: a harsh world, where only the wily and strong survive, and where love, passion, and commitment to -- familia -- are the sole dependable forces in Lupe's and Salvador's lives. In the unfolding of their story, we see Lupe move beyond her young and naive conventions of femininity to become a vessel of power, strength, courage, and brains. Salvador, in turn, is forced to extend beyond his macho Godfather persona, becoming whole by learning to listen to the intuitive wisdom of his young wife. Bookseller Inventory # 20080609100977
A daring memoir of love, magic, adventure, and miracles, Victor Villaseñor's Thirteen Senses continues the exhilarating family saga that began in the widely acclaimed bestseller Rain of Gold, delivering a stunning story of passion, family, and the forgotten mystical senses that stir within us all.
Thirteen Senses begins with the fiftieth wedding anniversary of the aging former bootlegger Salvador and his elegant wife, Lupe. When asked by a young priest to repeat the sacred ceremonial phrase "to honor and obey," Lupe surprises herself and says. "No, I will not say 'obey.' How dare you! You don't talk to me like this after fifty years of marriage and I now knowing what I know!" After the hilarious shock of Lupe's rejection of the ceremony, the Villaseñor family is forced to examine the love that Lupe and Salvador have shared for so many years -- a universal, gut-honest love that will eventually energize and inspire the couple into old age.
In Thirteen Senses, Victor Villaseñor brings readers into the Bonnie-and-Clyde-like world of his colorful, immigrant family: a world set in Depression-era Southern California: a harsh world, where only the wily and strong survive, and where love, passion, and commitment to familia are the sole dependable forces in Lupe's and Salvador's lives. In the unfolding of their story, we see Lupe move beyond her young and naive conventions of femininity to become a vessel of power, strength, courage, and brains. Salvador, in turn, is forced to extend beyond his macho "Godfather" persona, becoming whole by learning to listen to the intuitive wisdom of his young wife.
Thirteen Senses, in the end, is a rapturous depiction of love between all men and women. In writing this breakthrough memoir about Lupe and Salvador's adventurous desire, Victor Villaseñor uncovers a path toward enlightenment, enabling us to realize that an awakened soul is not restricted by the use of five senses, but capable of using the power of all sacred thirteen.
Review: A good story, Victor Villaseñor writes in the opening pages of this sequel to Rain of Gold, can save your life.
Consider, he continues in this memorable portrait of Latino family life, the case of his grandparents, who fled from civil-war-torn Mexico to the United States in 1910. As they traveled north, his father told Villaseñor, "Cannons were blasting. People were screaming and dying. The creeks ran red with blood." But Villaseñor's grandmother's stories about "the stars, the moon, the she-fox" kept the children's minds off the terrors around them, guiding them to their new homeland and shaping family history. That history provides the grist for Villaseñor's exuberantly spinning mill, yielding a sprawling narrative shot through with touches of magical realism and homespun philosophy, and tinged occasionally with regret--as when, for instance, Villaseñor's mother confesses, "I miss your father so much ... but I'm the one who could never bring myself to tell him that I loved him."
But sorrow is rare and humor plentiful as Villaseñor affectionately recounts his relatives' travails and improbable dreams, some of which, like a grandfather's quest for gold in a hidden Mexican canyon, come true. As he writes, Villaseñor underscores the importance of tradition, faith, forgiveness, and, yes, good stories in making life livable, and this good story will please many readers. --Gregory McNamee
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