Well, after an hour of fighting with the internet and trying to get back in the swing of things, this post seems like a huge deal. Over break I read Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. I picked this book in order to expand my horizons a little bit and read something that I wouldn’t usually read. My high school English teacher recommended it to me when I told her my goals for this class.
Bless Me, Ultima is about a boy named Antonio. His family takes in Ultima, who is a very old healer. Because of her wisdom, she is highly respected among the community. Antonio spends a lot of time with Ultima, learning the things that she has to offer to teach him. Antonio’s parents argue frequently about Antonio’s future and they think that Ultima knows what his future holds since she was there for his birth. His father wants him to be a cowboy and his mother wants him to be a priest.
Throughout the book, Antonio begins to lose his innocence and see the world how it really is and he starts questioning the morals of people. There are a lot of things that he doesn’t understand that trouble him. He also struggles with questions about his religion throughout the book as well. He has been raised Catholic, but as a Catholic he cannot believe in the powers that Ultima holds and this is a challenge to him. Antonio has to make decisions regarding his beliefs and morals throughout the story and Ultima helps guide him along the way.
I really enjoyed this book. Not only does it make you think about your own morals and beliefs and what you would do in Antonio’s situation, but you also learn a lot about the culture of the people in Mexico at this time. It truly is a learning experience as well as a great story. I highly recommend this story. Be prepared for a little bit of a Spanish lesson as well!