Fourteen-year-old Maria Cecilia Gonzales is a dreamer. She's smart, for one thing, and she loves to read. Her books carry her far away, beyond the purple and blue mountains of the farm community she lives in, to high school and then on to a job in the big city.
But something stands in the way of her dreams. Cecilia is the second of six children and her oldest brother Elias doesn't like to study and isn't interested in going to high school. And, since it's the 1930s, just after the Depression, and since Cecilia and her family live in the quiet Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, Cecilia's stern mother won't let her go to high school unless Elias goes. That would cause Elias to lose face in their tight-knit community. And anyway, Cecilia's mother thinks her daughter's highest aim should be to run a home, to cook and sew and to raise children. Elias' only ambition is to be a farmer and no amount of cajoling by Cecilia seems to change his mind. As Cecilia struggles to fulfill her goals, she experiences a deep appreciation for her family and the first tender feelings of romantic love. Susan and Denise Gonzales Abraham have woven the story of Cecilia's dreams into the months of the year, the land and the crops, and the routine life on a farm. The real Cecilia is Susan and Denise's mother. This, their first novel, is a tribute to her and to the deep roots of their family in rural New Mexico.