This is the story of a girl named Clara Luna (“clear moon”) who feels that she is out of place in her Walnut Hill, MD environment but she doesn’t know why. Sensing the girl’s restlessness across the thousands of miles that separated them, her grandmother sends Clara an invitation to her home in a small village in Mexico. Nervous, but curious, the girl agrees to go. A bit of the backstory is that Clara’s father had illegally immigrated from that Mexican village to America when he was in his late teens. He never talked much about his past with his American family and he had never visited his parents since his departure.
It took Clara longer to reach her grandparents’ home (one plane trip and three bus rides) than it did for her to feel comfortable there. She went for walks and learned quickly about how she could do her share for the family. She listened to her Abuelita’s stories about being a healer. In alternate chapters, the grandmother told her past and Clara told the present. Clara quickly became close with her grandparents. She even learned that she might be a healer like her grandmother. Clara met a boy goatherd named Pedro. They became close friends and talked and walked through the mountainside. Their encounters gave the greatest description of the beauty of the natural world in the village.
Clara felt hollow and misplaced in a world where value is placed on material things but found her spirit while living in a shack in a small mountain village. This book was very enjoyable for more than her story. It had a message that reminded the reader that life is about more than the things we own. Life is about the connection between people and nature. It’s about the lives and the spirits that we touch. The book’s language was beautiful in its simplicity and with some Spanish interspersed, it really evoked a sense of ‘being there’.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is not just a girl story. It is the story of the human condition.
This book receives four cookies and a glass of milk (I'd even add a little cinnamon to that milk because the book was that good!) Print this post