(Northwestern University Press)ISBN-10: 0810122405ISBN-13: 978-0810122406
Bernardo Martinez is a devout Catholic and sacristan in his church in Cuapa, Nicaraugua. Based on actual events, Bernardo and the Virgin is a sweeping tale that juxtaposes the spirituality of Catholicism against the revolution occurring as the socialist Sandinistas overthrow the Somoza regime. In 1980, Bernardo is visited by an apparition of the Virgin Mary and she instructs him to encourage everyone to pray the rosary daily and to "work for peace." He's well aware that he's not in a position where anyone would take him seriously, but his strong faith gives him the courage to be obedient. Not only do we learn how the title character is affected by the presence of the Virgin, but also that of others who all share some sort of connection with Bernardo. While interspersing Spanish throughout the novel, Sirias paints a vivid picture of village life in Cuapa. The overall tone is more spiritual than religious and exposes such humanity through Bernardo's complete surrender to his beliefs. This in spite of his being denied the priesthood in his youth because he was deemed to poor. Just as in Meet Me Under the Ceiba, Sirias has given us another beautifully written novel revealing the intricacies of Central America. Bernardo and the Virgin was a great reminder of why I love historical fiction.
We're also hosting a unique giveaway on this book tour. Leave a question to be answered in Friday's live chat with author Silvio Sirias and you may be selected to win one of each: a change-purse and a decoration made by the Kuna artisans in Panama, called Molas.
Mon June 7 Latino Book Examiner
Tues June 8 Regular Rumination and La Bloga
Wed June 9 When I Was in 'nam
Thurs June 10 Sandra's Book Club
Fri June 11 Sententia Vera
Mon June 14 The Tranquilo Traveler
Tues June 15 BrownGirl BookSpeak
Wed June 16 The Book Nook
Thur June 17 Pisti Totol-Black Bird
Fri June 18 Musings
Live chat is Friday, June 18 at 7 pm EST at Condor Book Tours.