Valenzuela's unique coming-of-age story draws the romantic reader into a tale of abbey life, wealthy aristocrats, young love, untimely death and, ultimately, an unforgettable young girl’s heart.
Young Blanquita was born in an abbey, and life there is all she has ever known. She is surprised and shocked, then, when she finds that the new Mother Superior has accepted a wealthy family's offer to adopt her. From the start, she vows that she will return in two years, at age 18, to become a nun and reenter the life she loves. But she finds more than she bargained for with her adoptive family. She falls in and out of love, experiences the death of people she adores, learns about intrigue and clandestine affairs, and eventually comes into secrets about her parentage and birth that threaten to keep her from the abbey forever. While Valenzuela gives readers a fast-paced, interesting story, riding along with this book feels akin to riding in a standard-shift automobile with an inexperienced driver. The pace slows down, then speeds up so quickly it threatens to throw readers from the vehicle. Important characters suddenly disappear, never to be seen again and without offering the closure that some readers so highly value. The story wallows through long, languid periods and episodes that should come to fruition and make sense later, but never do. Though the path is rough, Blanquita is a sympathetic and fascinating companion. Readers who can stand the pace will find themselves satisfied in the end–if not with how the loose ends tie up then with the resolution Blanquita's heart finds along the way.
Full of intrigue, adventure and romance, though herky-jerky and frustrating at times.