The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters begins in Los Angeles in 1966. We meet the four sisters - Loretta, Rita, Sophia, Bette and their brother Cary - all named by their late mother after movie stars. The girls are still mourning their mother. Their beloved housekeeper, Fermina, becomes ill as well. She has always promised that when she passes on she will give the girls each a gift. When she dies, the girls try to discover what each gift is. They aren't tangible items, but maybe the gifts are abilities......
Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of one of the sisters. Interspersed are tantalizing excerpts from Fermina's life, beginning in the 1930's, taken down by a data collector from Work Projects Administration.
This novel traces the lives of the girls through joy and heartache. Through it all runs the memory of their mother. Each girl remembers her differently. And Fermina - who was she really - her life with them is a bit of a mystery.
The women in this story are the dominant, strong characters. I was caught up in the lives of the Gabaldon sisters. Their bickering, angst, joy and passion for life was intoxicating. Although they make some bad decisions in life, their acceptance of what life brings, their devotion to their children and their love for each other is compelling. The story rings true and real, with no sugar coating. As we follow the sisters' lives, we also follow Fermina's in further reports from the WPA until the two tales meet and we discover who Fermina was and what the gifts truly were.
This newly released novel from Hachette Books is a story that will appeal to sisters and friends. It would be an excellent suggestion for a book club.
Fermina's life is drawn from Lopez's own family history.