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So Far from God

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  2,689 Ratings  ·  195 Reviews
Sofia and her fated daughters, Fe, Esperanza, Caridad, and la Loca, endure hardship and enjoy love in the sleepy New Mexico hamlet of Tome, a town teeming with marvels where the comic and the horrific, the real and the supernatural, reside.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 17th 2005 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1993)
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Geoffrey Nutting a) He was just scared of marriage. When he got a woman (Fe) he could control, he didn't know what to make of it.
b) He probably decided that he wanted…more
a) He was just scared of marriage. When he got a woman (Fe) he could control, he didn't know what to make of it.
b) He probably decided that he wanted to marry someone else (there are some references to Tom running a convenience store/gas station in another town later on, but whoever he married is much weaker than Fe & he's stuck with his life going nowhere)(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 12, 2007 Jen rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's kind of magical realism for the North American feminist. Growing up in a catholic feminist family with my mom and 3 sisters and a dad who was there -- but not so much -- the story felt like a dramatic and whimsical telling of themes I've lived. Like Ana Castillo, I've lived in Chicago and New Mexico, so the terrain and language felt pretty familiar, too.

It's a fun fast read and it's one of those books where you pick up odd little random facts such as:
* what really goes on
Jul 04, 2015 Agne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Novice to magical realism
Recommended to Agne by: Read & Meet Book Group

“So Far From God” by Ana Castillo is a peculiar magical realism novel set in a small village of Tome in New Mexico. Abandoned by her gambling husband, Sofia single-handedly raises four daughters: Esperanza, an ambitious news reporter; Fe, a jilted bride suffering from a nervous breakdown; Caridad, a promiscuous nurse who is mutilated by a mysterious creature; and saintly La Loca who dies at the age of three and after resurrection avoids human contact. This unusual Chicano family
Mar 07, 2010 Dave rated it really liked it
This is a book that is much busier than it first appears. Castillo has written a novel that, on the surface, appears to be a kind of folksy, magical realism tale about a mother and the incredible fated lives of her four daughters. Below the surface we have a novel that intertwines Catholicism, indigenous (to the Southwest of present day U.S.A.)religion and Mexican American folk beliefs to build a striking critique of patriarchy, capitalism, and the consequences of unrestrained globalism.
Some pe
Oct 09, 2007 Laura rated it really liked it
Castillo's writing is fast and quick with a hodge-podge of fantastic code-switching and pop Chicano cultural references. The story sometimes went all over the place, but even that suited the off-the-hip style. There's something about Castillo's writing -- it hooks me, and it's an easy, interesting read. I think that maybe more than her books, I am falling in love with Ana Castillo herself. Her voice is very strong, and I imagine her out there in the world, with clear, sharp eyes and a deep laugh ...more
Aug 23, 2009 Kt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magical-realism
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it for a Women Writers in the West class in college, and it's the one that stuck with me the most (some other books in the course were Kingston's Tripmaster Monkey, Silko's Almanac of the Dead, Cather's My Antonia, and Kingsolver's The Bean Trees).

Following in the traditions of Latin American magical-realism, the story itself is not amazing, but Castillo's rendition of the characters, as well as their individual reactions to the problems they'
Lupita Reads
Jun 19, 2009 Lupita Reads rated it it was amazing
Siendo una fanatica del realismo mágico este libro fue un instante amor para mis ojos! es mi favorito libro y lo he leido mas de tres veces! Me encanta los remedios y tradicions que refleja la autora, las tradicions y la mezcla de ellas con una sociedad differente. Tambien me encanto los personajes y la manera en que Castillo refleja differente características de mujers en ellas. Unas fuertes y capaces de esta solas, otras con necesidad de tener un esposo y la vida perfecta. Realmente me encanto ...more
This seems a bit unfocused - a lot going on in a rather short period of time and all the chapters are episodic and a bit non-sequential. Some of the cover blurbs compare it to a telenovela and that seems pretty fair.

But judging from the title and the last quarter of the book especially, Ms. Castillo certainly has a political agenda and I'm not sure that the episodic nature of the family's story really did as much justice to her points as it could have.
I was so close to loving Ana Castillo’s 1993 novel So Far From God.

So Far From God takes place in a small village in New Mexico, where Sofi is taking care of her four daughters after her husband Domingo has left her. There’s Esperanza, the oldest daughter who works as a television reporter in the Middle East; Fe, who suffers a nervous breakdown when her engagement ends; Caridad, who is attacked by a mysterious creature, ends up living in a cave and becomes a saint to villagers because they beli
Jan 17, 2010 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I'm really disappointed in So Far From God. I had been wanting to read it for awhile after falling in love with Peel My Love Like an Onion.

My favorite portions of the story were those focusing on Sofia's exploits and the later chapter on Fe. The most hilarious and charming part of the book for me is when the narrator shows the family through the eyes of a somewhat busy-body neighbor. It's basically a short retelling of everything you've just read peppered with her own prejudices and the assumpti
Todo el libro es un milagro.

I should qualify that: although it's dense with the miraculous and out-there, it's the kind of miraculous, out-there stuff that really does happen in a small farming community in rural New Mexico. There is a good amount of Spanish in here and I didn't understand all of it, but I get the feeling I wasn't really meant to understand it. Because it's not really my world, it's the world of Mayor Sofi and her girls, and they talk how they talk and I am lucky just to eavesd
Mar 21, 2014 Uribe rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Loved reading this book with so many things I could relate to in my life. This story of a mother and her daughters takes the reader through the years with lots of traditions and at the same time a move toward the modern. A great read!
Bhargavi Suryanarayanan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2014 Loretta rated it really liked it
With sharp humor that paradoxically reveals painful lived circumstances, So Far From God by Ana Castillo is a necessary text when examining women writing magical realism. The novel is centered around the loves and losses of Sophia and her four daughters --Esperanza, Caridad, Fe, and La Loca. Castillo pulls from Greek mythology in referencing the Goddess of wisdom (Sophia) and her children, Hope (Esperanza), Faith (Fe), and Charity (Caridad). While Castillo’s Sophia has a fourth daughter, La Loca ...more
I won't lie, this book had more Catholic faith that I was really comfortable with, and utilized a great deal of Christian iconography. It was still, in my opinion, a brilliant book. It walked the perfect, delicate line of magic realism, all the while following the lives of Sofia and her daughters. The narration of the book was spectacular, and this book reads a bit like a modern day fairy tale.

(view spoiler)
M. Torres
Jun 05, 2017 M. Torres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a fan of magical realism, I thoroughly enjoyed this book . Some of the reviews I read were negative , but I suspect it was because the readers were not fans of magical realism and were probably not familiar with Mexican/Latino culture and language. A humorous yet often tragic history of Sofe and her daughters.
May 25, 2017 Sue rated it really liked it
3.85. Loved it, flaws and all
Jun 04, 2017 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This would have been a good book, however, having the Spanish language interspersed throughout the text took me out of the action because had to continually stop and translate the language.
Jul 10, 2016 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sofia lives in unincorporated Tome, New Mexico w/ her four daughters named Esperanza (Hope), Fe (Faith), Caridad (Charity), and "La Loca". Her husband, Domingo, ran off when the girls were very young. The book opens w/ a miracle - the youngest daughter has a seizure and dies but after the wake, as the coffin was being carried to the church, La Loca sits up and flies to the top of the church. And thus begins the strange and magical story of these five women and their untimely and tragic deaths.

Zoe Brooks
Aug 19, 2014 Zoe Brooks rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic-realism
On the face of it in this account of the lives of Sofi and her four extraordinary daughters magic realism meets tv soap opera. In chapter one the baby La Loka dies, rises from the dead and flies up to the church roof. Fe, another daughter is dumped by her boyfriend and screams for weeks. Caridad, daughter number three, is attacked, mutilated and left unconscious. Esperenza, Sofi's eldest daughter, eventually breaks up with her boyfriend, who has got into Native American religion. Then at the end ...more
Stephanie B.
Dec 14, 2015 Stephanie B. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A mí no me gusto este libro porque brinca de cuento en cuento y es muy frustrante saber que está pasando con cada persona durante el cuento. De hecho, eso hizo que fuera un poco difícil de leer.
Empieza el libro diciendo que La Loca tiene 3 años cuando se muere y cuando van a la misa de ella, el ataúd en donde la tienen, se abre y su espíritu se va al cielo. Este cuento es de una familia chicana que vive en Nuevo México y Sofí y Domingo tienen cuatro hijas (Caridad, Fe, Esperanza, y La Loca). Do
Mar 27, 2016 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
"So in terms of the sad rent business, and as far as any of Sofi's comadres could tell, Sofia looked like she at least came out even." - p. 219
"Now, Loca had never been sick before, and aside when she suffered that abrupt death she never got no other medical attention." - p. 225

I wish I had read this book right when it came out, when I was in middle school, but the way things work out, I was into Catcher and the Rye at the time, and I was only motivated to check out some Ana Castillo books from
Feb 17, 2017 Kate added it
Shelves: dnf, boring

I'm not going to put a rating on this book since I didn't finish it. I didn't finish it because I lost interest. The style of writing made it impossible for me to get invested in the characters so it essentially became just one long drawn out timeline of weird events.

It wasn't even a rage-quit... Rage-quits get ratings. I just stopped caring.

I did enjoy the little bits of Spanish splashed in randomly, though.
Mar 23, 2012 Kyrle added it
The book So Far From God by Ana Castillo a non-fiction book about a family that lives in a very strange town in Central New Mexico. I came across the book from the great description I got about it from the library made this book the best choice I could have chosen. This is one of the greatest books I have read it keeps you wondering what is going to happen next in the story. It keeps your mind and your imagination open and the suspense of just thinking what crazy thing is going to happen in the ...more
Mark Valentine
Mar 13, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it really liked it
This review is dedicated to the mothers all around the world.

Castillo's novel also happens to be dedicated to mothers, to femininity, and to their magical-realistic spirituality of birthing and raising all of us. Reading it, I was plunged into a bi-lingual, bi-racial, bi-cultural dual world of contrapuntal balance. The dance of the genders is the first dichotomy, but that is the most superficial too. Ironically, the title seems to be misleading because a significant focus of the novel is in fin
Feb 11, 2017 Melia rated it liked it
This book was very strange. Not in a bad way, it was just different. I liked the book more at the start, it was quirky and held my attention. It follows a family in New Mexico, and it choked full of magical realism. There is a lot of suspension of disbelief necessary for this book. As we kept reading I started to like the book a bit less, but I think that partially just has to do with how much my teacher was pushing us to read between classes and I felt overwhelmed, so reading felt more like a b ...more
This book has been on my shelf for almost 15 years. I'm not sure why I didn't read it when I first bought it. I remember that it was highly recommended and I can see why. Castillo is an excellent story teller in what I'm pretty sure would be called the tradition of magical realism. She does what the book jacket promises: melds "the real with the supernatural, the comic with the horrific, the Native American with the Latino and the Anglo." And Castillo has definitely created memorable characters ...more
I had to read this for a class, and was pleasantly surprised to be captivated so easily by this book. I really liked the writing style Ana Castillo used throughout the novel. It welcomed you into the characters' world, and invited you to make a connection of some sort, since the narrator was telling you the story of Sofia and her daughters in a colorful and, at times, humorous and gossipy way. I also liked the use of magical realism and found it to be a charming way to go about telling a story.

Brandon Lopez
Nov 11, 2014 Brandon Lopez rated it it was ok
El libro, tan lejos de dios es un libro diferente comparado a los que e leído. Tan lejos de dios cambio en las historias de cuatro mujeres, Sofía la madres y sus tres hijas Fe, Caridad y Ezperenza. El libro pasa por la vida de todas y como la vida de so otra hermana, la loca afecta como viven ellas.
Sofía es una madre soltera con cuatro hijas vivendi en Tome. ella corrió a su esposa por que el tenía en problema de apostar la propiedad de ella. Los cinco mujeres viven en una casa que la familia d
Oct 31, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
So Far From God tackles a lot of topics both political and cultural through Magical Realism and it was an insanely confusing novel for me.

It is not a feel good read, there is so much death that I had to put it down for a bit

The style through me off because it is ambiguous about major plot points and some of the chapters just did not make sense in my opinion.

However, the characters and the beautiful writing made up for the confusion and the ending I just did not understand.

The Magical Realism asp
Gitai Ben-ammi
Jan 29, 2016 Gitai Ben-ammi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a wonderful book. It takes place in northern New Mexico, close to my uncle's ranch, near where my grandmother grew up, where my family has been since 1692, after receiving a grant of land from the King of Spain, and it captures the area so well that it feels like my grandmother is just telling me about some wondrous events that took place, almost like she's gossiping with me.

Sofia has four daughters, La Loca, who died at age three before being resurrected at her funeral, Esperanza, who dre
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What's the meaning of chapter 8? 4 10 Oct 02, 2016 07:10AM  
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“something about giving himself over to a woman was worse than having lunch with the devil...” 12 likes
“Hell = "where we get rid of all the lies told to us. That’s where we go and cry like rain. Mom, hell is where you go to see yourself.” 5 likes
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