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Roots of Indifference Paperback – Import, 1 Dec 2009
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About the Author
Terri Ragsdale, author of the children's book, "A Legend of Grand Mesa" was a Spanish interpreter for federal, state and local agencies. She is now retired from working with the State of Colorado for over 30 years and resides on the Western Slope with her immediate family.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
ROOTS OF INDIFFERENCE relates the injustices during a time so pertinent to the history of ethnic inequality. The history of the Rio Grande River affected the citizens living on both sides of the border - the imperialistic haughty `northern Americans' and the culture of a generation of Hispanics. To the author's credit she opens her book with a Prologue that relates the interaction of an elderly Mexican physician for both animals and humans, Fred Juelson, who is returning to Texas after a long absence and encounters abuse from some young Hispanic ruffians - a move that sets the tone for Juelson's recollections over the years of how time has changed the little town of Mercedes at the Texas Mexican border. The story is fact based fiction - a technique that allows the drama to bend to the will of the writer yet offer a valid exam of life and conditions during the time and location of the story. Wisely, Ragsdale incorporates supernatural incidents predicted and caused by the healers (`cuarandera'), and those practicing witchcraft - a factor that yields a sense of drama and a fine reflection of Mexican culture. There are murders, forbidden love affairs, conflicts and tensions that well describe the milieu and hence the history of a silent people, the victims of the animosity that raged at the border. Reading Ragsdale's book will underscore the problems we currently are encountering with the bitter debates over immigration of a people who were the first inhabitants of this `land of opportunity'. It makes you think and reprioritize the effects of history on today's culture. Grady Harp, May 14
There was a beautiful flow in the story that showed how confident she was in her subject matter and in the direction she was moving the story. Although there were a few strangely worded phrases and a bit of copy editing may have made this book absolutely perfect, I cannot fault the author for the occasional slip in that regard. She was tackling far more important issues and themes, and doing it tremendously well. Don't let the size of this book intimidate you; you'll be finished before you know it and considering how long it would be appropriate to wait before reading it again. An impressive achievement.
I received "Roots of Indifference" as a Christmas present, and after a year of getting around to reading the entire book I couldn't stop reading it.
I read it whenever I could regardless of location I was, including waiting rooms. I read it as recreation from 6 months of studying for two work related certifications. Before reading the book, all I knew was this about it: "A suspenseful novel filled with unbridled passions, jealousy, incest, murder, witchcraft and dark superstitions. Roots of Indifference is interwoven with the story of a prestigious family during the early 1900s, struggling with racial intolerance as they try to carve a place for themselves in a hostile land during the Mexican Revolution, World War 1, and The Great Depression. This fascinating novel brings to light the horrendous injustices inflicted upon the Mexican-Americans, who suffered cruel indignities and discrimination. It is a story that needs to be told about the turbulent times during those dark years of indifference".
I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley until I entered the Air Force. The book contains a lot of the history and truths of the way things were. Some of it I am glad I did not experience but a bit I did. Terri tells a vivid story that grabs you in a way that you want to find out more, and of course the ending. She captures what many in the Mexican-American communities there would say about a time when equality was measured by which side of the tracks you lived in and the color of your skin.
The characters like Victoria and Juan the author developed keep this story going and going. I am glad I invested the time to read it and I highly recommend it to all my friends and family. I hope there will be a sequel. Outstanding job Terri!