Cover Image: Woman of Light

Woman of Light

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Member Reviews

It took me a lot longer to finish "Woman of Light" then it should have. I originally started by listening to the audiobook, but I had a hard time keeping track of the time line. I tried multiple times, but because it jumps around I found reading the physical book was much better. I did tend to enjoy some time lines more than others.

The main story of Luz is really moving, even though it is also heartbreaking. I felt like it ends with some unanswered questions, or maybe the reader is supposed to make assumptions about what happened, but I wish there had been a little more. Whether that "more" is for Luz who I felt like just came in herself at the end or more of that plot line, I just wanted "more."

Thank you NetGalley for the Advance Reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a fascinating novel. Very engaging. Kinda mystical and a look into a family coming together and making their way. Love the plot and the pacing. I thought the story telling was very good. I thought the characters were great. Many people will enjoy reading this and getting a look into a different life.
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A tale of history repeating itself, a tale that has to be reclaimed, and a family holding itself together in spite of forces that purposely seek to destroy and erase.
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Wow, this was a very complex saga that is told across three separate generations. I absolutely loved the characters though and I couldn't get enough of their stories, which is why sometimes the time skips irked me a little because I really wanted to know more about certain characters such as Liz's grandparents and I really didn't get that. Still even with that this was a very intriguing story.
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A multigenerational story. It taps into the treatment of native peoples in the turn of the century west. The title character Luz is a tea-reader. A profession revered by her people. The characters in this story have a depth that goes beyond the obvious. Ordinary people with a light and strength that the author captures well. It’s a modern day western complete with an unlikely romantic triangle.
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This book was fantastic! I really enjoyed it and it kept me guessing throughout, which is difficult for most books to do. I felt like I connected with the characters and really enjoyed the plot!
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1930's, Denver, CO we are given a multi-generational story. We follow Luz, a Mexican American, who works as a laundress, is able to read tea leaves and also sees visions of her ancestors. We travel with her as her ancestors stories are told. We meet Lizette her best friend, Diego her brother, and her aunt Maria Josie were all such likable characters. The shifts in her storytelling of her family is not orderly or organized and it did feel a bit jarring at times, but I did love her voice and seeing her family through her.

Thank you to Random House Publishing and NetGalley for the advance e-book.
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Woman of Light follows an Indigenous & Mexican, mixed race family across multiple generations. Luz, who the story is centered around is trying to figure out her place in the world as she toes that fine line between childhood and adulthood. 

I loved the touches of magical realism in this story as well as the way the past, present and future were interwoven throughout to the point where time almost seemed irrelevant. I enjoyed how dynamic each of these characters were and also getting a glimpse into the lives of those who were “other” at this time in Denver.

Overall, this was a beautifully written novel although I will say it took me quite a few chapters to really get into it but by the time we hit the midpoint through to the end I was invested. If you like magical realism, multigenerational
Stories through the eyes of a diverse community this is the story for you.

Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC! This story was beautiful, haunting, sad and everything in between. Most importantly it told the story of BOLD women who carved their own path even if they lost their way at first.

P.S I need an origin novella about Simodecea Salazar-Smith. She was definitely my favorite

P.P.S the vigilante rattlesnakes made my whole day 😂

Rating: 3.5
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Woman of Light is a beautifully written, mutigenerational story that will stay with the reader long after finishing the story. Admittedly, I have not read a large amount of Latina or Native American experience stories from the 1930s, so this book, while fiction, was eye opening to me. At times this book will break your heart at the way humans treat one another, but the family ties and love shared between other characters is palpable and timeless. 

This novel is rich in both character development and detailed settings. So while I began Woman of Light unfamiliar with the cultural struggles of these characters during the 1890s and 1930s, Kali Fajardo-Anstine's vivid storytelling allowed me to feel as if I was living alongside these families. 

Thank you NetGalley for this advanced copy and introducing me to a whole new world and author!
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This was an interesting story about family. I enjoy dual timelines and thought this was an entertaining solid novel. Well done!
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There is a chance I'm a bit biased to love Kali Fajardo-Anstine and everything she writes--she writes stories from and about my hometown that are somehow both love stories to Denver as well as unflinching and necessary accounts of an uglier time in the city's (not so distant) history. But truthfully, I think I would love her books no matter what. She's a great storyteller and a beautiful writer, and while it took me a little longer than normal to really get into this novel, once I did I couldn't put it down.
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I leapt at the chance to read WOMAN OF LIGHT early after Kali Fajardo-Anstine blew me away with SABRINA & CORINA. And then I just couldn't get into this one.

Admittedly, I'm not a prolific historical fiction reader, so it could be a matter of genre mismatch between the book and me. I'm a big fan of sweeping generational stories, but it seems this one's more of a coming-of-age tale, which is less my jam. 

I'd of course recommend this title to those who enjoy coming-of-age stories set in the past! 

DNF at 15%
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I hate to say it but I DNF'd this book. I got to about 52%, but was forcing myself to read it. It's historical fiction about early Denver, and people struggling to survive. it had a lot to offer, but for some reason did not draw me in. I will probably try again later. Sorry I do not have more to say about it. #womanoflight #bookstagram #booklover #reader #readersofinstagram #bookloversofinstagram #bookreview #dnf #netgalley #bookrecommendations #takeapagefrommybook
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I so enjoyed this author's first book of interrelated short stories, that I could not wait for this title to release. I was thrilled to get the ARC. However, I was unable to stick with this book. I was unable to engage fully with the story and found it slow. Whereas her first book really pulled me in and I gave it 5 stars, I just could not say the same for this book, unfortunately.
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POC women's stories are important and needed. This is a prime example.

Fajardo-Anstine is a must read. Her first book, Sabrina and Corina, is one of the most perfect collection of short stories I've ever read. She can capture the complex and loving relationships between women in a way very few authors can. Woman of Light continues and builds upon the first book's strength.

The prose is beautiful. You can see the dry dust stirred up by foot steps, smell the tortillas, and feel the soft fabric of the wedding dress. The reader drowns in sensory details and can't help but fall into the story, loving the setting and characters.

Everything is perfect except the main character, Luz. She's suffers from boring MC syndrom. She's lukewarm tea. Dry toast. I loved and wanted to read more about all the other characters, but Luz was too plain in comparison.

There were a few moment where this book felt like it could slide sideways into the Women's Fiction genre rather than just Lit. Even the cover art says Women's Fiction. Fajardo-Anstine is too good and has too much to say for her books to be marginalized in the Women's Fiction genre. So this is a message to current and future publishers of Kali Fajardo-Anstine: Please, please, please make sure her books get the correct marketing they need to stay solidly in Literature.

Story: 5 stars
Character Development: 4 stars
Writing: 5 stars
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I really wanted to enjoy this one. As the premise sounded right up my alley. However I couldn't connect to the story or characters
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“Every sigh is breath stolen from life.” ~ Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Woman of Light

Woman of Light is a multigenerational western saga of an Indigenous Chicano family. The book opens in the Lost Territory of New Mexico where Pidre Lopez, a Puebloan Indigenous person, settles in Animas, Colorado, where he runs a Wild West Show.

The author the moves to 1930s Denver, where Luz “Little Light” Lopez, discovers she has clairvoyant gifts and reads tea leaves to help her aunt, Maria Jose and brother, Diego, a snake oil salesman and womanizer pay the rent. When her brother is run out of town by a white mob for dating a white girl, Luz is left to fend for herself.

She uses her family connections to land a job as the secretary in a law office, where she finds herself in a love triangle with her attorney boss and a young mariachi musician. White Supremacy groups violently attack the law office because the attorney represents the downtrodden and underrepresented.

Meanwhile, Luz is having visions that transport her to her familial homeland in the Lost Territory. In the end, it is up to Luz to save her family stories from disappearing into oblivion.

I read this book by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (National Book Award finalist for Sabrina & Corina), in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. I found it to be underdeveloped with a skeletal backstory about the family early in the book. The author’s writing style didn’t keep me engaged, but I found her characters to be noteworthy. The synopsis sounded like it would be a fascinating read, but for me, it was just okay. It is clear the author has talent, though, so I’ll try her again. 3.5 stars.

** Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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I really wanted to love this generational story of women. Their strength and integrity kept these women going. They all were dealt such hardship and heart break. 

I just wish there was more on the visions and tea readings.
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Another work by Kali Fajardo-Anstine that I adore. A moving multigenerational, multiple POV, nonlinear story from a time in American history that I don't often visit. Despite this being a fictional story, I learned so much, In my ignorance, I had no idea how diverse the American West was/is.
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Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine is a moving tale of the strength of indigenous women throughout several generations. Luz Lopez and the women in her family are all highlighted through the story of their history and perseverance. The book is written in two time periods through Luz's visions and I enjoyed seeing how the Lopez ancestors shaped how Luz dealt with her current situations. The book does address many triggers such as racism, sexism, violence, and abandonment.
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