Mothers of Pine Way
by Corrine Ardoin
Black Rose Writing

"Protective of her newfound self, she savored the change, basking in a waking dream. Joy and opportunities were open to her since the discovery of her gifts."

Candelaria is one of many women in this story. She discovers her true self, and the power to thrive, after surviving multiple traumas: the loss of her family's home and parents when she was a child and, later, the loss of her husband as well as her feeling of responsibility for a difficult son. Ultimately, she rejoices in her Mexican and Native-American heritage and a rare ability to tell stories. Those epiphanies, as well as positive relationships with her daughter, Rosa, and a determined woman named Esther, Candelaria's good and bad memories of her past, a spiritual counselor, a connection to her mother that transcends death, and other major transitions help Candelaria to develop a life that is liberated from rage and fear, a life that becomes personally empowering.

In this emotionally charged narrative, all of the characters are experiencing or have experienced significant metamorphoses, largely through loss, change, and, ultimately, growth. Ardoin wisely includes some of the men in these major life changes to demonstrate some of the ambiguities in these relationships. Intriguingly, the men—who are sometimes the sources of the women's frustrations and limitations—are themselves frustrated by their limitations. The book shows that everyone has difficulties and that some traumas may be worked through with a group's help. As in Fried Green Tomatoes and Like Water for Chocolate, this story illustrates that people both create and respond to their circumstances. As individuals within a community, each can help herself and the others find strength, peace, and fulfillment, but usually after many personal, familial, and societal battles.

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