Linda Martin's Reviews > Ramona

Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson
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really liked it
bookshelves: kindle, 2020, california, classics, families, fiction, historical-fiction, native-americans, romance

Ramona was born to a Native American woman in Southern California. Her father was from Scotland. He took the infant girl from her mother and gave her to his ex-girlfriend, a Californio (Hispanic) woman of considerable wealth. Unfortunately that woman died and her husband didn't want the child, so she was passed on to Señora Moreno, a widowed woman with a large estate and a son.

The Moreno ranch needed sheep shearers and that is how a tribe of Native Americans came to live there temporarily, for work. And that is how Ramona met Alessandro, a talented violinist who had been raised at a Franciscan mission in Santa Barbara. The protagonist of this novel is intensely Catholic.

This book starts out slow with one chapter devoted only to describing the Moreno estate. I had a hard time getting emotionally involved with the characters enough to keep reading it consistently. This also becomes almost ridiculously melodramatic at times. The Señora Moreno devolves from a devoted Catholic woman into a prideful and malevolent control-freak.

Finally - at about chapter 20 out of 26, I became emotionally involved and cared enough about the characters to want to keep reading the book without putting it down. I'm glad I stuck with it. The ending of the book is both tragic and blessed. The author did what she set out to do - to profile in fiction the injustices done to Native Americans by the Americans when they took over the state of California from the Californios in the mid-19th century.

I read this book via Kindle. My local in-person book club chose it as a group read. We live in a town with a lot of Native Americans so reading about their issues is important to us.
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Reading Progress

February 15, 2020 – Shelved
February 19, 2020 – Shelved as: kindle
April 20, 2020 – Started Reading
June 14, 2020 – Finished Reading
June 22, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020
June 22, 2020 – Shelved as: california
June 22, 2020 – Shelved as: classics
June 22, 2020 – Shelved as: families
June 22, 2020 – Shelved as: fiction
June 22, 2020 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
June 22, 2020 – Shelved as: native-americans
June 22, 2020 – Shelved as: romance

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