Cover Image: Woman of Light

Woman of Light

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Member Reviews

Thank you to One World for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Fajardo-Anstine has created such a beautiful story with this book. The story is expertly woven throughout time and family members. You see the family's origin story, all the way up through three generations. It shifts timelines and POVs expertly. The characters are unique and complex, and you see how their family history has shaped them. This book also examines some difficult parts of history including the oil & gas industry taking over Indigenous land in the Southwest and racism against Hispanics and Indigenous people in Denver in the 1930s. 

This is definitely a story you'll want to pick up this year.
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This is a book about Denver Colorado, about the lives and histories of  the Hispanic and indigenous people in the  early to mid-1900s and the injustices done to them -  a story with lots of stories. The main protagonist Luz, the Woman of Light has the power to read tea leaves and make predictions.  She experiences visions about the past and future of her family and friends.  The story spans multiple generations of Luz's family and portrays their resilience and grit in their fight to survive and protect their families.  Some of the instances of racial discrimination resonate even in the present. The author has done a decent job of touching upon the significant historical events and culture of the time.   I would have preferred the characters to have more depth though.  I felt the story ended abruptly,  I would have liked to know what happens further with Luz, her brother Diego, her cousin Lizette and her two love interests David and Avel.  It was overall an OK read.
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I did not finish this book, I don’t know what it is but I couldn’t get into this book. Wasn’t for me.
Thank you to netgalley for giving me the chance to try it.
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Special thanks to Random house publishing, Random House and NetGalley for  the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

What a wonderful book. Little Luz, the tea reader and her older brother, the snake charmer, of the Luz family. Indigenous people. The story takes place in. the 20's and 30's here so there is a lot of strife and a lot of struggle for these people, all trying to stay together and survive. 

I really loved Luz,. She was a little cute thing but as she grows older and moves away,  she wants to go back and find family and unity and how they survived in the 20's and 30's where there is never too much hope.. This is how we should behave today with light (Luz in Spanish) and love and sticking  together through love and togetherness.. Beautifully written, although I go for a bit darker stories, this author Kali canard on and time writes beautifully. 3.5-rounded to a 4 because this little and through  the years, big girl,, stole my heart with her beautiful voice.
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I definitely did not have the same reaction to this book as so many other readers. I really wanted to like it, especially after reading the prologue, but then it felt like a different book. Fajardo-Anstine's writing is beautiful, but this was a little bit of a letdown from my expectations. *Advance copy provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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A sweeping multigenerational story- you don't really know HOW the timelines are related although astute readers will guess. The characters were well-formed and the book tackled some difficult topics with grace. 

I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a beautifully written novel and wonderfully descriptive, and one that kept me engrossed throughout.
It tells a story of a Mexican American family over generations, but the story mainly takes place in Denver , Colorado in the 1930's where we witness, prejudice and violence against the Mexicans, and Native Americans. This was a theme throughout the book,and it looks like history hasn't changed much now in present day. This part of the story saddened me as it never really showed people of different ethnicity ever really getting along.
The characters are wonderful, each bringing a little bit of something different to the story, yet all with the same goal of making family number one in their lives, a keeping their history alive.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for a copy of this book.
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I feel torn on this one. The writing was at times beautiful and poetic, at other times confusing and choppy. This was a slow moving story that had aspects that were really engaging. Overall, not my favorite, but an interesting tale.
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A multigenerational drama with an interesting cast of characters. The prologue was so strong but I found myself wanting that same intensity for the rest of the book. The pacing was slower than I’d expected, and I’d wanted more to happen in the book overall. 

I learned a lot from the book from a historical perspective. I haven’t read much about 1930s in the West, and from a Chicano/Indigenous perspective. That alone made it worth reading.

Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC widget.
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Woman of Light tells us the story of several generations of a family living in the American West in the early 1900's. They have indigenous and Mexican roots and therefore are considered less than. At every turn, in every generation we see the limitations of their lives and what they are able to do and achieve, who they are able to love and how easily they are taken advantage of and abused. We get three stories, the most modern of which centers upon Luz and Diego living in the 1930's - they are both trying to advance themselves and are continually knocked down by the world. But they are also quite short-sighted at the sacrifices and pain their aunt, parents and grandparents had to endure to give them the chances they have. Slowly through alternating chapters we learn more about this family and the generational pain and repeated ways they were taken advantage of.

I love a multi-generational story as well as early American life stories. I am grateful to hear / read one focused on the marginalized, the cultures whose stories were previously told by the white majority and therefore were portrayed as villains or lazy. This story tells you the truth, the ease with which these hardworking people who dreamed of more, were constantly held back. That treatment, the violence and insults are not easy to read, but important to acknowledge and experience.

I alternated listening to this one via ALC thanks to Libro.FM and reading it via the generosity of the publisher via Netgalley. The narrator was fabulous in the audio version. I ultimately went on to purchase a copy of the novel. All opinions above are my own.
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Kali Fajardo-Anstine is a fantastic writer. This story blew me away and I could not say enough good things about it. The writing was beautiful and it stayed with me even after I finished it. I cannot wait to recommend this book to everyone.
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I really liked the characters in this book but had some issues with a lot of the book as well. See below for the synopsis:

Luz "Little Light" Lopez, a tea leaf reader and laundress, is left to fend for herself after her older brother, Diego, a snake charmer and factory worker, is run out of town by a violent white mob. As Luz navigates 1930's Denver on her own, she begins to have visions that transport her to her Indigenous homeland in the nearby Lost Territory. Luz recollects her ancestors' origins, how her family flourished and how they were threatened. She bears witness to the sinister forces that have devastated her people and their homelands for generations. In the end, it is up to Luz to save her family stories from disappearing into oblivion.

My main gripe was how character driven this novel was. If you asked me what the plot of this novel is, I honestly would not know how to answer that. There wasn't much plot-wise that kept me wanting to read more. The characters were lovable, however I wish that we would have gone more in depth about some of the side characters such as Maria Josie and Lizette. I did very much enjoy the writing, time period, and atmosphere of the book so 3 stars it is!
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I had such high hopes for this after reading Sabrina & Corina and loving it so much. 

Alas, I just couldn't get into this, tried and tried but it did not hold my attention. Probably me and the current state of my reading life and not the fault of the novel.
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This was such a beautiful story from start to finish. It’s a touch of magic, mixed with folklore, and historical fiction. I loved the history aspect of it, and learned something new. The characters are engaging and well written. The story flowed beautifully and I was sad when it was over. I highly recommend this for anyone! 

Thank you to the publisher, author, and to Netgalley for this arc in exchange for my honest review!
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The writing in this book was captivating, and the characters interesting. I felt like i knew every character pretty well, except Luz. I am not sure exactly why, but she seemed distant from everything. The overall story was interesting but i was puzzled by some of the little plot points that didn’t seem to have a point, like when Diego journeys to return to Denver and sleeps with two random women. I enjoyed passages of the book but it didn’t suck me in.
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Woman of Light is a beautifully written book. I love books with a strong sense of place and time, and Fajardo-Anstine's descriptive writing is as good as it gets. I felt transported to early 20th century Denver. There isn't a lot of historical fiction set in Colorado and New Mexico, and I found myself repeatedly visiting the web to read up on events the author includes. I had no idea, for example, the extent of the Klan's dominance over Denver's politics. 

If you prefer a linear narrative and strong plotting, this may not; however, be "your" book. Fajardo-Anstine is best known for her short stories, and her competence in writing this genre permeates Woman of Light. That said, the chapters in this book sometimes feel more like loosely connected short stories. The primary narrative focussing on Luz is more novel-like, but it's still less of a plot-driven narrative than an immersive sensual experience to read the book. 

As an avid reader of historical fiction, hungry for more perspectives, and appreciative of a whole sensory experience, I strongly recommend this book. It touches on several topics worthy of a deeper discussion, making the novel an excellent book club choice.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an electronic version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Fajardo-Anstine's writing is some of the most beautiful work being produced today. I was totally immersed in this story, and it's one I've never seen in a book before. Honestly, I find it hard to write anything meaningful about this book as an amateur reviewer - it's one of those books that simply reminds you of the joy of a well crafted, emotional novel.
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Thought this was a really well done generational
Story. So many are hard to follow, this was great!  I felt like I learned a lot while also feeling so much.
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Woman of Light
 by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

“There is one every generation--a seer who keeps the stories."

Woman of Light is many things. It is a Mestizo/Chicano family saga spanning five generations, a story of the Old American West that is not widely known and a coming of age story. The main thread of this story is about Luz Lopez or “Little Light” the endearment by which she is known. Luz comes from a lineage of indomitably and unconventional woman to which we are slowly introduced. But what if, instead of relying on a handful of incomplete memories and tales, there were a keeper of ones collective ancestral stories? One born into each generation? In Woman of Light, this is precisely what we are asked to imagine in this tale inspired by the author’s own family.

Woman of Light is a must read for fans of historical fiction who wish to be transported to another place and time through the eyes of a diverse cast of characters. Looking for a diverse read for your book club? Look no further.

My sincerest thanks to @netgalley and @oneworldbooks for the gift of this digital ARC.
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Wow! I did not know what to expect going into this book, but I’ve got to give Woman of Light alllll the stars. This is my first book by Kali Fajardo-Anstine but I’m already ready to read her short story collection Sabrina&Corina. 

This is a story about a family history and the reverberations through generations, both from trauma but also light and love. I adored the MC Luz, whose story takes place in 1933, and her cousin Lizette. 

Please don’t hesitate, pick this book up and read it! You won’t be sorry
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