The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 195
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problem of portraying the life of the village with sympathy and
understanding, backed by a thorough knowledge of the customs
of the various areas of Mexico. She knows Mexico-its ideals and
its troubles, its philosophy and its psychology, its history and its
people. More important, she has been able to bring to us, with
rare literary skill, the feelings and the thoughts of the people of
whom she writes. Her flair for the romantic and her ability to
create a feeling of suspense concerning the ultimate solution of
the problems confronting her principal characters makes the
material delightful reading as well as an important portrayal
of conditions as they existed in the period immediately after
the Revolution, and as they exist today.
When asked by her publisher whether the stories were pure
fiction or whether they had been drawn from real life, Miss
Niggli replied that her material was a combination of both and
that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to separate the two.
Some of the events actually happened and some of them were
rumored to have happened; but nearly all very easily could have
come to pass in the form given us in the stories. There is the
story of the Yanqui Bob Webster, disillusioned and unhappy,
who came to the village as the mine supervisor, intending to stay
only one year but becoming so much a part of the life of the
village that he continues to stay. The Castillo family, which has
held the land of the valley since the opening of the area of
Nuevo Leon in the sixteenth century, forms an integral part of
the village life and is still the dominant force even though the
Revolution had technically destroyed its power. The story of
Gitanillo, Lolita, and Ruben, the candy maker, gives Miss Niggli
an opportunity to portray the beauty and the drama of the bull-
fight as it is seen through Mexican eyes; it no longer appears
bestial and cruel. The genius and the tragedy of Anita O'Malley,
the beautiful and high-spirited daughter of an adventurous Irish-
man, are presented to the reader beautifully and simply; the
story is also used as a mechanism for the portrayal of Mexico
City life and customs. Pepe Gonzalez, fun loving and full of a
zest for life, is instrumental in bringing an end to a feud of long
standing between the Valley of the Sabinas and the Three Marys;
he incidentally is the epitome of local pride. The mystery of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/237/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.