So Far From God (Novel 1993)

Medieval Christian mythology transformed the story of Sofia, the Greek goddess of wisdom, into the inspirational story of a heroic mother and her martyred daughters. So Far from God is Ana Castillo’s modern reinterpretation of the lives and struggles of Sofia and her four daughters, Esperanza, Caridad, Fe, and La Loca. Set in contemporary New Mexico, the novel chronicles how this family, its neighbors, and their community confront and essentially prevail over the obstacles of racism, poverty, exploitation, environmental pollution, and war. The novel, covering two decades in the family’s lives, unfolds through a series of flashbacks woven into the central narrative. Blending ironic humor with scathing social commentary, the novel is told from the perspective of a highly opinionated, omniscient third-person narrator.

Sofia and her fated daughters, Fe, Esperanza, Caridad, and la Loca, endure hardship and enjoy love in the sleepy New Mexico hamlet of Tome, a town teeming with marvels where the comic and the horrific, the real and the supernatural, reside.

“A delightful novel…impossible to resist.” ―Barbara Kingsolver, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Exuberant and slangy…a chili mix of the conversational and poetic…haunting…profound…powerful. — Boston Globe

Castillo is simply dazzling, tossing off miracles, scathing social commentary, and smart-ass humor as easily and naturally as shaking water from a mane of wet hair. — Booklist

Exciting and wonderful! I gave it to my mother, my sister, my daughter, my whole family. Anybody who’s ever been the daughter of a mother will appreciate this book. — Ntozake Shange, author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf

While reading, you may get an eerie feeling that you are 12 years old and back in your grandmother’s kitchen smelling all those wonderful smells and hearing all her curious stories.