Description: As seamstresses, the young sisters EmIlia and Luzia dos Santos know how to cut, mend, and conceal–useful skills in the lawless backcountry of Brazil, where ruthless land barons feud with bands of outlaw “cangaceiros,” trapping innocent residents in the crossfire. EmIlia, a naive romantic, dreams of falling in love with a gentleman and escaping to a big city. Quick-tempered Luzia also longs for escape, finding it in her craft and secret prayers to the saints she believes once saved her life. But when Luzia is abducted by “cangaceiros” led by the infamous Hawk and EmIlia stumbles into a marriage with the son of a wealthy and politically powerful doctor, the sisters’ quiet lives diverge in ways they never would have imagined.
To the women - living and dead -
of my family, all of them
ladies and guerreiras.
And to James, who always believed.
Northeast Brazil (2) During the Old Republic.
Opening: Recife, Brazil, January 14, 1935: Emily awoke alone. She lay in the massive antique that had once been her mother-in-law’s bridal bed, and was now her own.
Big fat juicy fiction where the reader feels the proximity and the time period.