John Rechy

The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gómez

A Los Angeles Latina woman living in poverty and hoping for miracles “comes to stunning and heartbreaking life” in this novel from an award-winning author (Newsday).
On a hot, still day in May, Amalia Gómez sees—or thinks she sees—a large silver cross in the sky. Does this vision foretell a miracle? The pragmatic, twice-divorced Amalia is doubtful . . .
Amalia’s neighborhood—a decaying area near a shabby part of Hollywood Boulevard—is under attack from gang wars and the police. Her live-in boyfriend is behaving suspiciously, her “fast” teenage daughter Gloria has become too much to handle, and her teenage son is hinting he’s in serious trouble. Most of all, Amalia is haunted by thoughts of her past and her first-born, dead in jail under mysterious circumstances.
As the epiphanies and small omens of Amalia’s day build to a climax as wondrous as it is shattering, PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award–winning author John Rechy takes us into the complicated life of a Chicano family living in Los Angeles—in all its spirited, gritty reality, giving us “a novel with more truth in it than a carload of best-sellers” (The Washington Post).
“A fierce book . . . [told in] tough, uninhibited prose.” —Hartford Courant
“A vivid and touching novel . . . Rough, heartbreaking . . . Rechy is masterful.” —San Antonio Express-News
“A triumph, a sad, beautiful and loving book rooted in cultural experience as well as deep intuition.” —Newsday
“[An] ardently feminist piece of writing. By portraying her abusive past, the poverty and the narrow choices facing Amalia G[ó]mez, Rechy illuminates the plight of certain minority women who remain locked in the dark ages of female emancipation, shut off from any help . . . Amalia G[ó]mez may be the main character, but poverty and ignorance, injustice and fear, are the real subjects of this engaging novel.” —Los Angeles Times
282 printed pages
Original publication
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