THE PROPER GODS by Virginia Sorensen


Email this review


A novel of the Yaqui Indians of Sonora, Mexico, shows a wide knowledge of their culture, religion and customs. Adan, back from the war, is dedicated to join his parents who have returned to their homeland and there he learns how little he really knows of his tribe's life. For the ceremonials, the rituals, the pueblo tabus, the prejudice, the shame of being a ""tame"" Yaqui -- all combine to thwart his love for Micaela, his friendship for the Mexican, Teo, and his dream of having a farm of his own. For the sacred land enhances the family authority, his grandfather grows in stature when he is accepted as a maestro, his sister in read out of the family when she will not submit to the inflexible rules, and Adan, although tempted to rebel, nevertheless accedes to the pride and isolation of the ""Beloved People"". This is wholly different from her previous novels (The rening and the Morning. A Little Than The Angels, etc.) and displays almost encyclopedic information about the Yaquis which hangs darkly over the re-adjustment of a man to his racial background. Perhaps more limited in appeal than her other books, this is however a serious and sympathetic appraisal.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1951
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace