Melanie Sumner

The Ghost of Milagro Creek

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A story of love, death, and mystery that “shimmers with the light and landscape of New Mexico” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
Ignacia Vigil Romero, a full Jicarilla Apache and a curandera—a medicine woman, though some say a witch—begins this tale of star-crossed lovers . . .
The two boys she raised in a barrio of Taos, New Mexico—a mixed community of Native Americans, Hispanics, and whites—Mister and Tomás, were best friends until their late teens. Then they both fell for Raquel, a.k.a. Rocky, a mysterious gringa from Santa Fe. Tomás takes the girl for himself, but in a moment of despair, a pledge between the young men leads to murder.
The story is taken over by police reports, witness statements, and caseworker interviews that, together, draw an electrifying portrait of a troubled community, and of the vulnerable players in this mounting tragedy. From a Whiting Award–winning author, set in a terrain that becomes a character in its own right, The Ghost of Milagro Creek brilliantly illuminates this hidden corner of American society, both a suspenseful drama and “a love story that unfolds in compelling and unexpected ways” (Joshilyn Jackson).
“A splendid novel, rich in character and landscape, daring in form and voice.” —Robert Olen Butler
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244 printed pages
Original publication


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