Mama Fela, a skilled seamstress, is the aging matriarch of the Romero clan in Santa Lucia, a small town in northeastern New Mexico at the height of the Great Depression. Her six-year-old granddaughter and constant companion, Cipriana, delights in the Shirley Temple movies that occasionally come to the town's theatre. Through Cipriana's eyes, we see her parents' struggles over money. Graciela, Cipriana's mother, is a teacher in a rural school system who juggles the roles of wife, mother, and breadwinner. Cita, Cipriana's aunt who is in her mid-twenties, spends her days mothering neighbours, nieces, and a nephew, while dreaming of creative pursuits in a time and place where women's roles are not strictly defined and dreams are stifled. Together, these strong women cope with the challenges of poverty and prejudice, striving to pull their families through these difficult times.
Ana Baca graduated from Stanford University (BA) and the University of New Mexico (MA) with degrees in English literature. She is the author of three children's books (Benito's Bizcochitos, Chiles for Benito, and Pia's Sopaipillas). This is her first novel.