Jesusita - Softcover
Jesusita - Softcover
Jesusita is the story of immigrants--legal and illegal--trying to survive in California in the years after World War II. Jesusita, alone and impoverished, struggles to keep her four young children together. Though she finds support from Padre Montes at St. Teresa's Catholic Church, her faith won't solve her problems, especially those with her daughter, Paulina. Far from home, Filipino laborers are denied by law any contact with white women. Angie, the young daughter of an illiterate and unmarried mother, knows only one way to make money. And Felix, abandoned by his mother and separated from his only brother, is placed in a foster home on an isolated ranch. The interrelated lives of these people provide a complex, sometimes violent, and often tragic image of American poverty within the nation's postwar boom.
This book pulled me in from the start with Jesusita's and Father Montes's compelling characters. Both are deeply flawed, but also sympathetic. The setting, the Central Valley of California, and its small towns and farms, is also deeply interwoven into the story, especially in the importance of the church to social life. The dynamics of religious fanaticism are also well portrayed... It is ultimately Jesusita's fanaticism that makes her a classic tragic figure who gains great heights--within her social context--but which also leads to her fall. --Stacia Levy, San Francisco Book Review
In 1945, a widowed Mexican immigrant faces powerfully difficult conditions in Ruiz's (A Lawyer, 2012, etc.) latest novel... Ruiz vividly displays his knowledge of the harsh conditions experienced by Mexican immigrants.... Jesusita...rarely expresses affection for her children, instead seeing them as just a burden to be borne. She feels no remorse for her beatings of Paulina, believing that they "weren't sins." But in this novel, things are hard for everyone... A bleak look at a bitter life that may be too much for readers to bear. --Kirkus Reviews
Sometimes parents need to survive in ways that will often take their toll on not only themselves as a parent but their children too... A story about acceptance, love, racial discrimination, hate, revenge, understanding, hope, caring, forgiveness, redemption and abuse. Author Ronald Ruiz takes readers inside the lives of many Mexican and Filipino immigrants. One woman that thought that God and her devotion would absolve her sins and her actions. Jesusita: guilty or innocent you decide when you read this thought provoking book. --Fran Lewis, Just Reviews
About the Author
Ronald L. Ruiz is the author of a memoir, A Lawyer (2012), and three previous novels: Happy Birthday Jesus (1994), Giuseppe Rocco (1998), and The Big Bear (2003). Born and raised in Fresno, California, Ron was educated at St. Mary's College, California, University of California, Berkeley, and University of San Francisco. He practiced law from 1966 to 2003 as a Deputy District Attorney, a criminal defense attorney, and a Deputy Public Defender. He was appointed to the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board by Governor Jerry Brown in 1974 and later served as the District Attorney of Santa Cruz County, California.
- Paperback: 287 pages
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches