Cover image for To a widow with children
To a widow with children
Garcia, Lionel G.
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Publication Information:
Houston, TX : Arte Publico Press, 1994.
Physical Description:
263 pages ; 23 cm
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To a Widow with Children is a warm, funny novel that provides an endearing portrait of humanity in a small South Texas town. The novel focuses on the four children of a widow and follows their crazy antics that disrupt the peace of their sleepy village. The arrival of a stranger - a veteran of the Mexican Revolution - captures the imagination of the townspeople, including of course the children and their mother. Among the characters who populate this heartening tale are an unforgettable assortment of townspeople: a robust priest with endless patience, a mean-spirited cuckold, a love-starved naive telegrapher, the lovable but conniving children, the town's collection of old codgers who provide a chorus for all the happenings of note and, of course, the beautiful widow, a hapless over-aged suitor and the war-worn veteran. The comedy of errors that follows makes for delicious reading. All the gossip, false starts, foiled plans and mischief gradually, deliciously lead to an epiphany, an uplifting denouement of celebrations.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A shimmery magic-realism informs lives that would otherwise seem discouragingly impoverished and devoid of hope in this whimsical, mid-20th century love story, the fourth by Garcia ( Hardscrub ) . Maria, a beautiful young widow, lives in poverty in a tiny village on the Texas-Mexico border with her four children, who are endlessly mischievous, deceitful and destructive. She must do all in her power to keep the family together, especially since the local sheriff thinks the town would be better off if the children were sent to an orphanage. The arrival of Benjamin Argumedo, a handsome and courtly veteran of the Mexican Revolution, brings romance to Maria's life, but their relationship is complicated by a fat old sacristan's passion for Maria and by the pranks her children play, which include selling fake lottery tickets and stealing wool from a neighbor's sheep. The quiet life of the village is otherwise interrupted only by church raffles and weeks of rain, giving this slow-moving comedy a sultry atmosphere that enhances the erotic tension. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This novel is perfect for readers who are tired of sex and violence. Set in a tiny Texas village in the early 1900s, it has a simple plot: Maria, a good and loving mother, risks losing her four rambunctious children to an orphanage, not only because they are always into mischief but also because the sheriff hated her dead husband. These children, who know exactly what will make each person in the community happy, engage in one escapade after another. Events are predictable, but that is part of the fun. In fact, readers never doubt that all problems will finally be solved, including Maria's relationship with a handsome stranger. With its sweet, old-fashioned flavor, this entertaining book will please many readers.-- Dorothy Golden, Georgia Southern Univ., Statesboro (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.