What a beautiful story! “Yakimali's Gift” is so well written. It’s about the Marquina family. They make their journey in 1775 from Mexico to California. They deal with the Spaniards and Indians. During the trip there is hardships. Readers will get a bit of a 'subtle’ history lesson. The lessons blend into the story and focus on the characters. Some characters are a bit more fleshed out than others and Nicolas and Miguel shines in character development. They were so well drawn and believable. This was such a great young adult historical romantic novel.
Author Linda Covella did a wonderful job in giving the reader a detailed well plotted story in a visual way. She makes it seem as though you personally are seeing the scenery via her descriptions. You feel like you are in the desert sands and with the beautiful horses. The reader will feel the joys, family dramas, emotions, choices, hopes, friendships, deaths, fears and pains. The story really presents a picture of how a teenager, especially a girl, could feel and in the end finding their way to make their dream come true.
This story starts with the relationship between a mother and a daughter.
Readers of this book will join Fernanda as she finally finds out about her mother's Pima heritage. Will she choose whether or not she wants to be a wife? In the end will Fernanda be proud of her heritage and follow her heart? She has to assimilate into totally new cultures and accept new concepts.
This was a great read that I recommend to all!
*Gold Medal and Seal of Approval from Literary Classics: "well researched and beautifully told...a literary treasure."*RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) Honorable Mention: "shines light on a little-known part of history and invites the reader to experience it first-hand."*2015 Books of the Year for Teen/Historical/Romance from BooksAndAuthor.com*The Historical Novel Society: "Covella's extensive research into the culture and society of the Spanish-settled New World is worked seamlessly into a very human story."It's 1775 in Mexico, New Spain, and 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, of Spanish and Pima Indian ancestry, can't seem to live up to her mother's expectations or fit into the limited female roles of her culture. To escape, Fernanda grabs any opportunity to ride the horses she loves. At a greater cost than she could ever have imagined, her dream of adventure in faraway lands is realized. With her family, Fernanda joins Juan Bautista de Anza's historic colonization expedition to California. On the arduous four-month journey, Fernanda makes friends with Feliciana, the young widow Fernanda can entrust with her deepest thoughts; Gloria, who becomes the sister Fernanda always wished for; and Gloria's seductive brother Miguel, gentle one moment, angry the next and, like Fernanda, a mestizo--half Indian and half Spanish. As Fernanda penetrates Miguel's layers of hidden feelings, she's torn between him and Nicolas, the handsome Spanish soldier hoping to win her heart. But propelling Fernanda along the journey is her search for Mama's Pima Indian past, a past Mama refused to talk about, a past with secrets that Fernanda is determined to learn. The truths she discovers will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself.