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Having lost their mother in early childhood, the Gabaldon sisters consider Fermina, their elderly Pueblo housekeeper, their surrogate grandmother. The mysterious Fermina loves the girls as if they are her own and promises to endow each with a special gift to be received upon her death. The oldest sister, Betty, always teased for telling tales, believes her gift is the power to persuade anyone, matter how outlandish, her story. Loretta, who often prefers pets to people, assumes her gift is the ability to heal animals. Tough-talking tomboy Rita, believes her gift is the ability to curse her enemies. And finally, Sophia, the baby of the family, is sure her ability to make people laugh is her legacy. As the four girls grow into women they discover that Fermina's gifts come with complicated strings and what once seemed simple can confuse over time. Together they learn the truth about their mysterious caretaker, her legacy and the family secret that was nearly lost forever in the New Mexican desert...
Lorraine Lopez is an Assistant Professor of English in the Creative Writing Programme at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She won the 2003 Independent Publishers Book Award for Multicultural Fiction, the Latino Book Award for Short Stories and the Inaugural Miguel Marmol Prize for Fiction.