The Hummingbird's Daughter

The Hummingbird's Daughter

A Novel

Book - 2006 | First Back Bay paperback edition --.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Discover an epic historical novel of a young saint escaping death from Pulitzer Prize finalist Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels .
The prizewinning writer Luis Alberto Urrea's long-awaited novel is an epic mystical drama of a young woman's sudden sainthood in late 19th-century Mexico. It is 1889, and civil war is brewing in Mexico. A 16-year-old girl, Teresita, the illegitimate but beloved daughter of the wealthy and powerful rancher Don Tomas Urrea, wakes from the strangest dream-a dream that she has died. Only it was not a dream. This passionate and rebellious young woman has arisen from death with a power to heal-but it will take all her faith to endure the trials that await her and her family now that she has become the Saint of Cabora. The Hummingbird's Daughter is a vast, hugely satisfying novel of love and loss, joy and pain.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2006.
Edition: First Back Bay paperback edition --.
Copyright Date: ©2005
ISBN: 9780316154529
Branch Call Number: URR
Characteristics: 499, 12 pages


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 31, 2019

Outstanding novel, and it is based on a true story about a relative of the author's. A lot of violence in the story, but very touching and compelling in other ways. An amazingly unexpected ending. I'd like to read this one again sometime and recommend it to everyone high school age and up.

Dec 31, 2018

An absorbing, sweeping, and political saga from Mexican novelist Luis Alberto Urrea. It has some similarities with other big Latin American novels like "The House of the Spirits" and "One Hundred Years of Solitude." Urrea has written a lot about the border, and I would recommend "The Devil's Highway."

Jul 04, 2017

I love historical fiction in which the author creates a full-bodied story from detailed historical research. And I loved not knowing it was based on a real person until I finished the book and read the afterword. The only drawback I see in this story is my lack of understanding Spanish kept me from enjoying the story to the fullest. Usually, I was able to pick out the meaning of the Spanish words from the context. Even though I’ve traveled in Mexico, I’ve had trouble understanding how people could believe in living “saints”. This story helped me put that belief in miraculous healing in historical context. Diaz was not kind to the native Mexicans or mestizos. His policy of violence provided the background to the miraculous healing power of a young illegitimate girl who finally receives the blessing of her landowning father and his support in her healing and ministrations to the poor.

Mar 26, 2017

I’ve had a vague sense in other Mexican novels of the significance Mexicans' attribute to the mystic and magic. But this book really helped me to see how all-encompassing it is … how their sense of oneness with their gods and saints is embedded in their culture. And I appreciated that. This quote demonstrates it in a wry way: "Some thought the owls were witches. Some thought they were angels of death. Some thought they were holy and brought blessings. Some thought they were the restless spirits of the dead. The cowboys thought they were owls."
Urrea’s writing is completely captivating as he creates fully alive characters and explores the story of his great-aunt as a young woman, set against the far-reaching history of Mexico a hundred years ago. Not only was it a page-turner, but I learned a lot about the people and their history in the process.

Jun 01, 2016

My grandmother gave me this book as a graduation present, because she knows how much I like One Hundred Years of Solitude, and this book shares that Latin American magical realism thing in common with 100YS. There was some magical realism in this novel, but not nearly as much as 100YS. This is somewhat more of a historical fiction novel. I didn't like the sort of Greek chorus like thing of calling back to the "people", but the principal characters were great so that's a minor quibble. Overall a unique and glorious tale of a powerful female protagonist in pre-revolutionary Mexico.

Jun 01, 2016

Beautifully written. He captures the history of the times leading up to of the Mexican revolution and the mistreatment of the native population, without spouting political rhetoric. All told with great compassion.

PimaLib_RachelW Feb 11, 2016

So glad he is coming back to the Tucson Festival of Books! I went to a few of his talks last year and they were great!

Jan 14, 2016

This is my new all time favorite book, Urrea... what a stunning author. He knows his history. It is a must read. If I were teaching literature I would put it on my list.

PoMoLibrary Jun 30, 2015

From our 2015 #80DayRead Adult Summer Reading Club traveler Jocelyn: Excellent! Engaging story of Mexico's revolution through the eyes of a young girl to woman who is gifted with the spiritual sense of the country.

PimaLib_MaryG May 06, 2015


View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Mar 31, 2019

altybiz thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at EPL

To Top