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Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  55 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
According to Mayan legend, the Xtabentum flower that grows wild on the Yucatan peninsula first appeared on the grave of a free-spirited young woman who was scorned for her passion by the people of her village, but loved by the gods for her kind heart. Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan is a story of two young women set in the years following the Mexican Revolution in Merida, Yu ...more
Paperback, 201 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Shared Pen edition (first published April 1st 2010)
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Rosy Yes.Maya numerals are a vigesimal (base-twenty) numeral system used by the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization.

The numerals are made up of three symbols;…more
Yes.Maya numerals are a vigesimal (base-twenty) numeral system used by the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization.

The numerals are made up of three symbols; zero (shell shape, with the plastron uppermost), one (a dot) and five (a bar). For example, thirteen is written as three dots in a horizontal row above two horizontal lines stacked above each other.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 427)
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Elizabeth Braun
Apr 13, 2011 Elizabeth Braun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Xtabentun, A Novel of Yucatan is an enjoyable quick read, if you can ignore grammatical errors (some sentences have to be read twice to catch the meaning). The author Rosy, Hugener, sprinkles in enough Mayan folklore to peak the reader’s interest. Some of the descriptions are creative. The story line is believable and it draws the reader into the book. Mexico’s turbulent history and the struggle of its indigenous peoples are presented in a palatable way. All in all it is a good book.
Maria Marquez
May 07, 2011 Maria Marquez rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody, YA, Hispanic people
This is the kind of book that I like. The plot is really good, fast, interesting and easy. I am 1/2 Mexican but from another region so I learned a lot about Yucatan and Merida. The Mayan stories were interesting and it was nice to find the reason why they were use at the beginning of each chapter (Sometimes it was not obvious) . I am hoping for some questions and answers.
Sep 19, 2010 Meade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I took a chance on this indie Kindle-only book as I was looking for something based around the Yucatan to read while I was traveling there. This definitely fit the bill. Each chapter started with some Mayan cultural tidbit - myth, recipe, song, etc. - and it was centered around Merida, where I stayed. I learned a huge amount that was extremely helpful and interesting on the trip. The plot was also very good and intriguing. The writing could have used a little editing and was slightly stilted at ...more
May 03, 2011 Adriana rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
How I wish I could have liked this book more. I didn't want to just like this book. I wanted to love this book. The whole premise of the story is of personal interest to me, as my own grandparents would have been small children somewhere in Mérida (or possibly Tizimín) at the time the historic events of the novel took place. Unfortunately, I just was not able to connect with the characters.

The story was intriguing enough to keep me reading to the end, but it lacked depth. It's like I was given t
May 09, 2011 Valery rated it it was amazing
I think this book is really good, I truly enjoy it. Theres so much feelings in the story involve. I mean in a way I think some people might connect to one part of the story, even though they are not of the same culture. Im sure remember my grandmother and the place where she kept all her dear things, so from that point on I could not stop reading.
Its good to mention that all the research and details of the culture are also there, and that just enrich the book even more.
For those readers that tr
Jan 21, 2015 Fiona rated it really liked it
Wonderful love story set in early 20th century Merida, Yucatan.

The story begins in 1985 when the narrator of the story returns to her family home in Mexico City from Chicago to see her dying grandmother. Her grandmother had always carried keys to her wardrobe and refused any family member to look inside. Once her grandmother dies, the family open the wardrobe like little children opening Christmas presents. Inside they find an old photograph of the grandmother as a young women with her aunt and
Kenneth Iltz
Aug 20, 2015 Kenneth Iltz rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-books
The book is the story of two young women set in the years following the Mexican Revolution in Mérida, Yucatán, one of the wealthiest cities in the world at the time. Amanda Diaz is from the “divine caste”, a small group of families of European descent who dominate the politics and economy of the region. Carmen, Amanda’s lifelong friend, is from the opposite end of the social spectrum, a Mayan Indian who is the daughter of one of the Diaz family servants. The book bounces between Chicago, Merida ...more
Monico Neck
This book is just a good read. For an american it has a lot of cultural background that makes it really interesting. I been thinking about the plot for a while that is why I changed the the ration form 4 to 5.
Ivonne Fernanadez
Apr 17, 2011 Ivonne Fernanadez rated it it was amazing
Great book, great plot. The grammar errors were for me unnoticeable. (No more than a lot of books that I read) . The author’s voice feels real and authentic.
Leonide Martin
Mar 14, 2015 Leonide Martin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in Mayas and Yucatan
Lyrical story of family secrets and generational intrigues of a upper class family from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Prophetic glimpses of the unfolding events are given through Mayan legends. The story moves between two time periods, the mid-1980s and circa 1915. During this period of change and turmoil in Mexico, a friendship between the rich family's daughter and her Mayan servant takes shape among forays into political struggles involving the Maya people's champion, Felipe Carrillo Puerto and hi ...more
Dec 30, 2013 Chris rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, mexico, 300, ebook
I read this book so you won't have to. You're welcome. Badly written, badly structured, and badly edited. The shame of it is that there's the foundation of a good story here. After her grandmother's death a woman discovers papers indicating a long-held family secret that seems to involve her father's birth. The story jumps back to the past and the grandmother's childhood in Merida in Yucatan. Amanda is the daughter of a wealthy family; her best friend is the servant girl in the household. As the ...more
May 03, 2011 Tabitha rated it it was ok
Disclosure: I won this book from a goodreads giveaway contest. The author was even kind enough to sign the copy sent to me which was a nice surprise.

I think this would be a great book for a ten to twelve year-old girl; its good Young Adult fiction, maybe just a little too simplistic in its writing for an adult. The idea behind the plot is interesting, as are the Mayan myths and Yucantan cultural elements that start each chapter. These bits of Mexican history and culture, however, are not always
John Horst
Feb 11, 2012 John Horst rated it it was amazing
Xtabentum: A Novel Of Yucatan is a story set in a period of history known to few Americans. It is refreshing to read a story from an author who has intimate knowledge of both Mexican and American culture, and Rosy Hugener has woven a fiction that neither vilifies nor lionizes either culture, but rather explores the reality of how both peoples have interacted over most of the twentieth century. With our continued and growing relationship with the peoples of Mexico, stories such as Xtabentum: A No ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
An enjoyable story about the Yucatan to read while relaxing on the shores of the Caribbean. I read it during my trip to Isla Mujeres. While I appreciated the Mayan folklore and Mexican history, it was the details of life on the cobblestone streets of Merida that I most enjoyed.
Sandy from Alaska Colón
Enjoyed. A short read. Tells a story about people from different castes in Mexico, but also shows the prejudice in the US and also the differences in classes. I loved the Mayan myths told at the beginning of every chapter; there was even a recipe!

Dec 29, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
Xtabentum is a story of family secrets, set in an interesting time period and place. Alternating between a modern woman researching her family's past and that past playing out in 1920s Yucatan, this book is clearly a labor of love. The authors are passionate about Mexico and its history, and they bring to life a time period and region of which I knew very little. Their efforts are hindered however, by stilted, clunky dialogue and some ambiguities in their writing. Still, it';s a quick read and a ...more
May 22, 2011 Sally rated it did not like it
I tried to read this book which I received free from Good Reads, but I found it disjointed, and the poor language usage (lay for lie, site when sight was the proper word,etc.)put me off. Also, I do not read Spanish and there was no translation for it when used. Conversely, I will give the book to someone who teaches in a high school that is largely Hispanic and see if she finds it useful.
Jan 20, 2013 Amber rated it it was ok
It took me forever to read this book because it could not keep my attention for more then a page at a time. I was confused through most of the book. I had no idea who was related to who or who was searching for who. I was happy that the book ended well but I will not be reading it again.
Quite an enjoyable story. I liked the inclusion of the Mayan myths and enjoyed learning a small part of Mexican history. I've been to the Yucatan a couple of times, so it was cool to "see" the places as I read.
Jun 28, 2011 Jeanine rated it it was ok
This could have been a good story, set in an interesting place and time, but unfortunately it has no depth. The writing is shallow and undescriptive, jumpy and just not engaging.
Mar 02, 2011 Rosy rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: mayan-books, mayan
The new paperback is out for sale with a beautiful cover .Find it in Amazon!
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Rosa Hugener was born and raised in Mexico and is the descendent of one of the most prominent families in Yucatan, a family that has included governors, senators, bishops, historians and journalists. Her family members were participants in many of the historical events described, and old family stories were what inspired Rosa first to researching, and then to writing about, the events in the book. ...more
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