The Ghost of Milagro Creek

By Melanie Sumner
(Shannon Ravenel Books, Paperback, 9781565129177, 267pp.)

Publication Date: July 2010

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The story of Ignacia Vigil Romero, a full Jacarilla Apache, and the two boys, Mister and Tomas, she raised to adulthood unfolds in a barrio of Taos, New Mexico a mixed community of Native Americans, Hispanics, and whites. Now deceased, Ignacia, a "curandera" a medicine woman, though some say a witch begins this tale of star-crossed lovers.
Mister and Tomas, best friends until their late teens, both fall for Rocky, a "gringa" of some mystery, a girl Tomas takes for himself. But in a moment of despair, a pledge between the young men leads to murder. When Ignacia falls silent, police reports, witness statements, and caseworker interviews draw an electrifying portrait of a troubled community and of the vulnerable players in this mounting tragedy. Set in a terrain that becomes a character in its own right, "The Ghost of Milagro Creek" brilliantly illuminates this hidden corner of American society.

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