Sonia Ocampo was born during the worst storm her village had ever seen. When the winds finally stopped the entire village gathered to see the girl who silenced the wind. Over the next sixteen years they piled their milagros, or prayers, on her, hoping for answers and miracles that she doesn’t have. In fact, Sonia feels like the only one who knows that she’s a fraud – when her prayers fail to save the life of one of the local boys, she knows she has to leave. So when she has the opportunity to work in the city she jumps at the chance to escape the only life she’s ever known – the life she feels is a lie.
In this coming of age novel, Meg Medina manages to weave threads of mystery and mysticism into the tapestry of a harsh life, to tell a tale about growing up and realizing that not every miracle has to be magical. It’s a sweet story about family, love (yes, there’s some romance), and pulling it all together when times get hard. Sonia is a wise young woman, a loving daughter, and a fierce heroine who doesn’t give up.
There’s plenty to love here: the pictures are painted vividly, and the setting is especially vibrant. I felt I was in Tres Montes, and there were moments I could feel the heavy burdens of the milagros, pinned to Sonia’s shawl, around my own shoulders. There are also good, solid, life lessons, which make this a story I would be happy to share with my nieces and nephews. In the end this novel is about carving your own path, no matter how terrifying it may be at first. It’s about making your own way in the world, and never letting anyone else put you down. To borrow words from the book:
“Take care not to listen to anyone who tells you what you can and can’t be in life.”
They’re wise words, and everyone could stand to be reminded of their veracity.
Rating: 4/5 stars