This is a beautifully written coming of age story that I listened to as an unabridged audiobook. I don’t typically seek out this sort of book but the blurbage from the SYNC program caught my eye last summer and, well, it was free and I'm all about the free.
I regret reading many a book but my only regret here is that it took me a full year to actually take the time to listen to Bless Me, Ultima. It tells the story of a young boy named Antonio (Tony) whose family takes in an elder named Ultima, as is their tradition. Ultima takes young Tony under her wing and shares with him all of her knowledge about herbs and healing and introduces to him a world of mysticism that is at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Antonio is a smart little boy and soaks up the knowledge but he struggles with his mother’s desire for him to make her proud and become a priest. As the years pass, Tony experiences all life’s joy and pain with Ultima always nearby to help him make sense of the world.
Every now and then I need a break from all of the horror and romance and this book was the perfect choice. The writing is very descriptive, even slightly poetic at times, and the lovely prose lends itself to audio quite nicely. I highly recommend this version read by Robert Ramirez. His narration is fantastic and adds so much depth to the experience. 4 ½ Stars