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book cover of Spirits of the Ordinary

Spirits of the Ordinary

A Tale of Casas Grandes
A novel by

This "strong and finely rendered book" (Larry McMurtry) takes us to the Mexican-american border in the 1870s, conjuring up a magical tale of faith, gold, and family passions that "echoes the style of Isabel Allende and Laura Esquivel" (Washington Post Book World). Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award.

A spectacular tapestry of folklore, spirituality, and landscape, this extraordinary first novel vividly blurs fantasy and reality as it details one family's search for identity. In a small village in northern Mexico, the Carabajals have long been practicing their Jewish faith in secret. The father, Julio, spends his days dabbling with alchemy. His wife, Mariana, cannot speak but is clairvoyant. Their son has allied himself with a Catholic woman and is obsessed with his search for gold. Central to the surprising destinies of these characters are the momentous events and the ancient and sacred cliff dwellings of Casas Grandes, high in the mountains. This story of two cultures, of the elusive bonds of love and faith, is dazzling in its originality. It is for all readers who loved Allende's The House of Spirits or Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate.


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Used availability for Kathleen Alcala's Spirits of the Ordinary

Hardback Editions

February 1997 : USA Hardback

Title: Spirits of the Ordinary: A Tale of Casas Grandes
Author(s): Kathleen Alcala
ISBN: 0-8118-1447-5 / 978-0-8118-1447-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

May 1998 : USA Paperback

Title: Spirits of the Ordinary: A Tale of Casas Grandes
Author(s): Kathleen Alcala
ISBN: 0-15-600568-9 / 978-0-15-600568-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA