Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Texicans by Nina Vida

Oscar Ruiz, born in Mexico, came to Texas when he was fourteen.

Title: The Texicans
Author: Nina Vida
ISBN: 9781569474778
Publisher: Soho Press/2006
Pages: 296

What led you to pick up this book?

The Author, Nina Vida contacted me and asked me if I would like to read and review The Texicans. When I said yes, she sent a copy to me. I am very glad I said yes!

Plot summary:

The novel is based Texas in 1843 and spans 12 years. Joseph Kimmel's brother dies in Texas. Joseph, A Polish-Jewish school teacher, has to go there to settle the financial issues of his brother. On his way to Texas, he marries the orphaned Katrin to save her from an Indian chief. Although he does not want to, he ends up with two slaves and also Aurelia, a Mexican woman who is supposed to be a witch. He becomes obssessed with her. He becomes a very rich rancher with the help of the two runaway slaves, and also with the help of Comanches, Tonkaways, and Vacqueros.

What did you like most about the book?

First of all I liked Aurelia, who is supposed to be a witch. She has some healing powers and it is assumed she can cure many diseases. Joseph is a rightous man, who believes in the equality of men and woman irrespective of colour of the skin. He has no plans of marrying anyone but still he marries Katrin to rescue her from an Indian chief. I also liked the narration. My interest didn't waver and I finished it at one go.

What did you think of the writing style?

Nina Vida does know how to keep her readers interested. Her writing style totally takes one in. It might be fiction but depicts that period very well.

Which of your readers are most likely to enjoy this book? Why?

Those who like Historicals and also wish to read about colonisation will like this book. With strong characters and the undaunted human spirit being intact, this ought to interest those who like good reading.

What did you think of the main character?

Joseph is a good man. He knows what he has to do. Aurelia is no witch. She can cure people but thats about it. Katrin, emerges to be a strong woman. She knows Joseph doesn't love her yet her world surrounds around him. She has good business acumen too.

What is the central character’s biggest problem?

Joseph is obssessed with Aurelia and he neglects Katrin for her. To give her credit, Aurelia does not encourage Joseph.

How do you think he feels?

Joseph feels torn between his duty and obssession.

What effect do the people in the book have on one another?

Joseph loves the so called slaves. When Xenophobic rangers destroy everything, he has to hunt them down to take revenge.

What did you think of the ending?

It has a befitting ending. Nina Vida does not gloss over it. She has been very rational about it. It is a book about initial colonisation. Joseph cares for the people. He may have acquired land and built a town, but he knows that people need schools, hospitals, markets and builds those for them. He has a sense of justice and is a good man. Despite his obssession for Aurelia.

The novel speaks of trials and tribulations of men and women and emerging from the shadows and how to become a part of the mainstream. Yes, I am going to check out more books by Nina Vida! One of my friends swears by her books.


Literary Feline said...

I am really looking forward to reading this one. Although I enjoy historical fiction, this particular period in U.S. history is not something I've read a lot about. Great review, Gautami.

Harvee said...

I have this book from Nina Vida as well and it's on my list to read by the end of August! Hopefully I'll get to it. Sounds very interesting. Don't know a whole lot about Texas so am looking forward to it. Nice review!

Anna said...

Not sure this book is my cup of tea, but I'll keep it in mind.

Diary of an Eccentric

bermudaonion said...

My sister was born in Texas, so I think she would really be interested in this book.

Anonymous said...

Fun layout for a review!

Kristen said...

Great review. I have this one here for review as well. Unfortunately it is one of the wet books and is slow drying out so I don't know how long it'll be before I can actually read it. But you've made me more eager for that time to come!

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) said...

I enjoyed your review layout for this book, Gautami! This sounds like a book I would enjoy. I'll have to keep an eye out for it when it becomes available.

Sandra said...

A very nice review. I'm hoping to win a copy over at Book Reviews by Bobby. It's a place and time I haven't read about but you make it sound interesting.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like quite an interesting book. I'm a big fan of South :)

Yvonne said...

Excellent review! This books sounds very good.

Color Online said...

I might check this out. I like your review format, too.

Staci said...

I really loved your review of this one with the questions and answer theme!! Sounds like a really interesting read and I do enjoy historical fiction!!

M. L. Kiner said...

"The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.

Hilarie said...

I have an award for you!

Beth F said...

I accepted this one too -- now I must get myself together and read it.

The Reading Momster said...

Sounds so..., I am not sure about this one! :)