Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango
This novel is based on the true story of Maria Virginia Farinango, one of the authors. She was a very poor indigenous girl growing up in the mountains of Ecuador. Her people were badly discriminated against by the mestizos, who were descendants of the Spanish, and who considered themselves superior to the indigenous farmers who were beneath them on the social ladder. At age 7 Virginia was sent to be a servant to a mestizo family in a city far from her home. She was essentially a slave—working day and night cooking and caring for children and never allowed to leave the house. She was a very bright, inquisitive girl with a lot of initiative, and in spite of her imprisonment she learned to read and always kept her eye on escaping and getting an education. How she turns around her life and fulfills her childhood dreams makes for a perfect coming of age story for young people. I thought this was a fascinating story and all the more inspiring because it is true.