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Who Would Have Thought It? (Penguin…
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Who Would Have Thought It? (Penguin Classics) (edição: 2009)

de Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton (Autor)

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773277,788 (3.07)1
A major rediscovery--the first novel by a Mexican American Woman María Amparo Ruiz de Burton was the first Mexican American woman to write novels in English and the first nineteenth-century California writer to publish a novel in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War. Her first book, Who Would Have Thought It?, tells the story of Lola, a young, orphaned Mexican girl rescued from Indian captors by one Dr. Norval, who returns with Lola to his New England home. Though the townspeople initially shun the interloper, they become transfixed by Lola once word about the gold accompanying her gets out. Through the riveting personal story of a young girl's coming-of-age, Who Would Have Thought It? offers a stunning portrayal of the clash of cultures and communities, and a fresh perspective on Civil War America. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.… (mais)
Membro:StephieLu
Título:Who Would Have Thought It? (Penguin Classics)
Autores:Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton (Autor)
Informação:Penguin Classics (2009), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
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Who Would Have Thought It? de María Amparo Ruiz de Burton

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Exibindo 3 de 3
I could write 100 papers on this book.
  katelynreads | Jun 30, 2020 |
An odd book that is half Dickensian twists and half satire of mid-19th-century American culture. In the 1850s, kindly Dr. Norval becomes the guardian to Lola Montez, an orphaned Mexican girl who comes equipped with a large inheritance of gems her mother has scrounged from the California gold fields during her captivity with a band of Native Americans (!). By the time Lola is 18 years old, it's the middle of the Civil War and political problems cause her guardian to flee the country for suspected "Secesh" sympathies. The millionairess is left protected only by her surrogate brother/romantic admirer Julian Norval, who soon has to leave for the front. With him gone, the ruthless Rev. Maj. Hackwell and the unkind surrogate mother Mrs. Norval collude to steal Lola's money. There are many other subplots (legal, military, familial, and comic), leading to a complicated melodrama to which the War forms a crucial backdrop. The influence of Dickens is clear, especially in the labyrinthine plot and some of the character names (the unscrupulous reverends Hackwell and Hammerhard, who refer to each other as "Hack" and "Ham," the old maid aunt Lavinia Sprig, and the politically devious and perpetually lucky Cackle family).

I wish I could rate this book more highly. According to the scholar who has studied it most closely, it is the first novel by a Mexican American woman published in the US (1872). That's pretty cool. Also, some of the politics are kind of interesting: Mrs. Norval claims to be an abolitionist but when confronted with a dark-skinned girl of uncertain race who is actually going to live in her home, she pulls out all kinds of racial slurs. There are hypocrites and heroes on both sides of the war, including less-than-complimentary portraits of Abraham Lincoln and Secy. of War Edwin Stanton. There is a lot of satire directed at what was (much) later called the Military-Industrial Complex and also at the notion of patriotism--how traditional definitions of such break down during a civil war.

Okay, maybe I've talked myself into bumping it up a half star. However, there are also some truly poisonous long and dead-boring sections scattered throughout the book that bog it down. It's not exactly fun reading, even by the standards of 19th-century novels, but it's certainly interesting from a historical perspective. ( )
  sansmerci | Jun 18, 2015 |
This books starts off well, with the antics of two selfish ministers and a lot of hypocritical racism directed at a young Spanish girl rescued from the Indians. The book seems poised to deliver a pointed message for racial tolerance... but then we learn the reason we shouldn't be racist towards the girl is because 1) she's not really dark-skinned, the Indians just dyed her(!) and 2) she's rich. Indeed, she turns out to be one of the most bigoted characters in the book, yet is never depicted as anything less than admirable. Everyone else in the book is an awful human being, which becomes grating very fast; none of these characters can lay claim to being well-developed. The last two-thirds of the book are just a slog through uninteresting government and military hypocrisy during the Civil War, with all of the potentially interesting issues raised by the opening (such as the arbitrariness of race) just glossed over.
  Stevil2001 | Nov 23, 2010 |
Exibindo 3 de 3
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
María Amparo Ruiz de Burtonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Montes, Amelia María de la LuzEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pita, BeatriceEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sanchez, RosauraEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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A major rediscovery--the first novel by a Mexican American Woman María Amparo Ruiz de Burton was the first Mexican American woman to write novels in English and the first nineteenth-century California writer to publish a novel in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War. Her first book, Who Would Have Thought It?, tells the story of Lola, a young, orphaned Mexican girl rescued from Indian captors by one Dr. Norval, who returns with Lola to his New England home. Though the townspeople initially shun the interloper, they become transfixed by Lola once word about the gold accompanying her gets out. Through the riveting personal story of a young girl's coming-of-age, Who Would Have Thought It? offers a stunning portrayal of the clash of cultures and communities, and a fresh perspective on Civil War America. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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