by admin on June 22, 2011

rain of gold by victor villasenor

most likely you have had the unnerving experience of catching a glimpse of a woman’s reflection in a store window and thinking “who IS that familiar-looking middle-aged person with the slight stoop and wrinkled visage?”   and then realizing, OMG…..it’s me!  a humbling and not particularly pleasant experience.  or perhaps you awake in the morning and take a quick look at yourself and see…..yikes!  your grandmother!

less familiar but absolutely fascinating to most of us is  a scene from esme’s latest book group book, RAIN OF GOLD by victor villasenor.  this is a wonderful family saga which reads like fiction but is described by the author as the true story leading up to the marriage of his parents, immigrants from mexico.  it begins with a description of the author’s mother lupe as a child.  from the beginning we learn that lupe is unusually beautiful, smart, and loving. however, she is completely unaware of her extraordinary beauty until the following scene:

“she was walking with her head down….when she entered the bathroom and looked up, only to see the most beautiful young woman that she’d ever seen in all her life coming toward her……she stopped.  and the beautiful young lady stopped too.  they stood there, looking at each other, and lupe saw how tall and slender and perfectly made this young lady was with a high, open forehead and large dark eyes.  why, she took lupe’s breath away. then lupe saw that the young woman was wearing the identical dress that she was wearing.  she laughed, realizing that this was why the young woman had stopped to stare at her too.  then in that moment, as lupe saw the young woman laughing, too, she suddenly realized that she wasn’t looking through a doorway, but into a large, full-length mirror…and the shock that lupe felt in realizing that this marvelous creature was none other than herself was so complete, so stunning, that she would never forget it for the rest of her life.”

now isn’t that fantastic????  it reminds emse of the scene in helen keller’s biography where the blind/deaf/dumb helen puts her hand in a stream of running water and suddenly realizes that the symbols her teacher is writing on her hand and the running water are one and the same!  her eyes are opened to the transformative power of language!

well, this is the magical thing about reading:  one can live inside the minds of people as different from oneself as night and day.

enjoying the magic,




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