I fell in love with Sandra Cisneros when I read her literary treasure, House on Mango Street. This new book is an illustrated fable, a bit of a departure, but her voice is still there, whispering on every page. The illustrations are by the artist Ester Hernández, and they are lovely.
The story is a simple one; two friends search a San Antonio neighborhood for a lost cat named Marie. One of the women has recently lost her mother, and she is dealing with the loss and her grief. Ms. Cisneros explains in the aftermath that she recently lost her mother, and this story grew out of that experience.
“In Mexico they say when someone you love dies, a part of you dies with them. But they forget to mention that part of them is born in you…”
When I lost my mother, I remember thinking that I was now an orphan. My son, a writer & editor, assured me that I was way too old to be an orphan – the term is limited to children under the age of 18 who lose their parents. Despite the definition, that was how I felt, so I was not surprised to see Ms. Cisneros felt likewise. I really related with her way of grieving in this book, and I would think almost anyone who has lost someone will as well.
While it is over 100 pages, it is laid out like a typical picture book, with large illustrations on each page along with just a line or so text, so it’s a very quick read. Ostensibly a fable for adults, children may also enjoy it.
7/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
HAVE YOU SEEN MARIE? by Sandra Cisneros. Vintage (April 8, 2014). ISBN 978-0307743862. 112p.