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Author: Vida, Nina Set In . . .
 North America, USA, Texas, San Antonio
Genre: Historical Novel
Time Frame: 1800s
Published: 2006
This historical novel of the American frontier is “a completely engaging tale following a handful of remarkable settlers” (Entertainment Weekly).
When cholera strikes San Antonio in 1843, Aurelia Ruiz discovers that she might have the power to heal—and also to curse. Meanwhile, Joseph Kimmel, a schoolteacher in Missouri and the son of a Polish Jew, learns of his brother’s death in San Antonio—and sets off for Texas.
Along the way, a runaway slave steals Joseph’s horse. He is rescued by Henry Castro, a man who is importing immigrants to populate his planned city, Castroville—and then Joseph finds himself agreeing to marry a girl to save her from a Comanche chief who has demanded her hand. Together they will establish a unique ranch, one that welcomes members of the Tonkaway tribe, Mexicans, escaped slaves, free African-Americans, and others in distress—and that will incur the wrath of some of its neighbors.
But Joseph has not yet encountered Aurelia Ruiz, who will set him on an unexpected path, in this “compelling” adventure that “brings so much fresh energy to the timeworn Western genre” (Austin American-Statesman).
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