Visible Signs, set in Antigua, Guatemala, tells the story of Mikela, a fierce ten-year old indigenous girl determined to save her pregnant severely traumatized twelve-year old sister, Natividad, and the child she carries. Mikela draws together an unlikely assortment of American women to help her. What will happen to Mikela, Natividad and the baby becomes the central question of the novel. Their situation resonates with the private conflicts of each of the women drawn into this circle of care: Lourdes, an artist, who has taken a traveling fellowship to distance herself from her new marriage and a step-daughter angrily mourning the death of her own mother; Ginny, a priest, who needs to find a new God to worship, one that can celebrate her sexuality rather than deny it; Rosemary, who must face the reality of death with the illness of her friend Ginger; and Wilma, Rosemary's Guatemalan housekeeper, who has lost her own son in the recent civil war and is a reluctant host to many restless spirits of that conflict. The story unfolds in a God-raddled, spirit-ridden country with a bloody history, where religious traditions old and new, passionate spirits living and dead, and profound personal and cultural wounds combine and recombine to create a solution to their dilemma that is compelling, difficult, and mysteriously hopeful.
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