Mountain Press Publishing Missoula Montana

El Hermano

A Novel by Carmen Baca


Media: Paperback

Item #: 1091   Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-889921-54-9
Pages: 236   Size: 6 x 9

Distributed by Mountain Press for: Western Edge Press


El Hermano is an excellent addition to New Mexico literature. Congratulations! —Rudolfo Anaya, author Bless Me Ultima
It's always great to read a book about New Mexico and its cultural/spiritual history. When the book happens to be well written, deep with mystery and magic and suspense, with great characters and scenes, well, it makes the reading pure enjoyment and high excitement. This book is a cultural treasure! Highly recommended. —Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of A Place to Stand

Between the two World Wars in the remote mountain hamlets and villages of New Mexico, their religious well-being was looked after by a cofraidías, brotherhoods, also known as Penitentes for their austere rituals and practices, some of which were done in secret.
El Hermano takes place during the forty days of Lent in 1928 as José and his cousins conspire to spy on one of the brotherhood’s secret rituals to see what lies ahead for them as novices. José knows his time to join the cofradías (of which his own father is Hermano Mayor) is near, but having seen Hermanos who appear to be in pain after a night spent at the morada, a meeting house and chapel, and having heard stories about those who even died in the past because of whatever went on within the sacred structure, his fear guides him to join his cousins in their clandestine scheme. Little do they know, certain New Mexican legends conspire against them; La Muerte , Saint Death, warns José to leave his future unknown, a ball of fire thought to be a witch crosses their path, and even la Llorona, ghost of the Weeping Woman, and el Diablo, the Devil make an appearance. Age-old traditions and folklore—cures and formal customs--of the Hispanics of the mountain villages are interwoven in José’s story.
El Hermano is a rare and authentic window into everyday Hispanic village life the way it once was, and to some extent, persists.