When a Woman Rises

208p. Cinco Puntos. Jun. 2018. pap. $16.95. ISBN 9781941026847.
RedReviewStarIn Chiapas, Mexico, tradition lays the fabric of the land; for women, it can become a chain binding them to their culture but also preventing them from accomplishing goals. Magdalena wanted more when she was younger, but she had to put her dreams of becoming a teacher aside to meet community and family expectations. Time has gone by, and now her daughter is participating in a program to record her community's stories. Magdalena is reluctant to take part at first—she doesn't want to recall Lucia, her childhood best friend, and the decisions that led to her disappearance. This simple novel contains powerful imagery as Eber paints the landscape of Chiapas and the plights of its people. This story will transport readers and break their hearts as they learn Lucia's fate and Magdalena's struggle to live.
VERDICT This is a wonderfully written coming-of-age novel with a great balance of anecdotes about the Chiapas culture and a central driving narrative about tragedy and the lives of women bound by culture and expectations.

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