A Vivid and Inspirational Story Based on a True-Life Puerto Rican Girl
By Norma I García Pettit
Published by Palmetto Publishing
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Born in 1848, Luisa is a young woman raised in the mountains of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. Luisa’s coming of age life experiences take us through family births, marriages and deaths, a devastating natural disaster, and political unrest in Puerto Rico as a Spanish colony. As romance develops between Luisa and a young man in her barrio, unsettling things occur that cause her to dread what might happen in the years to come. Luisa must overcome her fears and learn to trust the unknown future to God.

Luisa, an intriguing and inspirational story based on true-life ancestors in the author’s family tree, educates readers about the culture and traditions of rural Puerto Rico during the latter part of the 19th century. Readers vividly feel what it was like to live day-to-day in that era, along with the cultural elements that make this tropical Caribbean island so unique. Young adults, those of Puerto Rican heritage, students of history or cross cultural studies, or anyone interested in understanding the roots of Puerto Rican culture will certainly be drawn to this story.


"I began reading this book wondering if it would hold my interest. At the first reading, I made myself stop at Chapter 10 to sleep! I had just returned from Puerto Rico and had briefly visited the town of Adjuntas, as it is the hometown of a neighbor. Luisa gave me such a different view of life in Puerto Rico and I was moved by words of wisdom given to Luisa regarding life and loss. The author knows how to describe a location, or person or scene without long winded descriptions, yet it is so easy to picture everything. I whole heartedly recommend this book."

J. Moyer

I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it for those who love well written historical fiction! I wanted to go back in time to live with this family; where life was simpler, people worked hard but celebrated well, and families and communities stuck together. Norma is an excellent writer and captures what life was like for her ancestors in beautiful Puerto Rico. This book is staying in my library (except I keep loaning out my copy)!

T. Deming
Placerville, CA

"Reading this book speaks of life in the late 1800’s, but it also speaks to us today to savor what we call 'The simple things in life'. These are things we take for granted. The book also reminded me that they are what makes life worth living. If you’re seeking to understand what brings, not only true meaning, but also true joy in life, I encourage you to read this book."

K. Adams
Placerville, CA

"Wow! Loved reading Luisa. It brought me memories of my grandmother's life story and how living through a hurricane can be overwhelming. Overall, I enjoyed the details of some delicious recipes of dishes from our culture. I can't wait to read more books written by the author."

W. Curet
Arroyo, Puerto Rico

"You can almost taste the empanadillas and flan de coco when the Maldonados and the Torres all get together for their parrandas and Sunday gatherings. This is a sweet family tale and gives the reader a good view into Puerto Rican culture and life. You hope for the best for these people as you become acquainted with them and their daily joys and struggles. Their trust in God is truly meaningful and inspiring. Thanks for the peek into the past, Norma."

P. Kushner
Camino, CA

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading Luisa. The author wrote in such a way that it kept me interested to find out what would happen next. The book gave me a clear picture of what daily life was like in a small Puerto Rican mountain town in the late 1800s. This book had great descriptive phrases that made me feel like I was right there with the characters, experiencing what was going on. It was quite humorous at times, and there was also sadness and dramatic incidences. I highly recommend this book!"

R. Wood
Placerville, CA

"So easy to get lost in this heartwarming story while discovering a unique place and time. The characters are creatively drawn and real as are the descriptions of the people, the setting and the things of daily life in 19th Century Puerto Rico. By the end I was smiling and thinking about booking a trip at the earliest opportunity!"

L. Lucier
Sacramento, CA


"We all have family stories - snippets of memories passed down through time. Usually, when we go back many generations, we only have names, dates, and just the stories of really memorable events. My husband's mother was from Puerto Rico, as were a number of aunts and uncles. He was born in California in the 1940s and grew up hearing various stories, eating ethnic food. Luisa gives so much more than that. It gives you carefully detailed images of all aspects of life long ago. The houses they lived in, the food they ate, their daily activities, their attitudes and actions dealing with normal life. Characters you care about, dealing with life without cell phones, microwaves or air conditioning!  Luisa was an enjoyable read."

B. Nicholson
El Dorado Hills, CA

"Terminé Luisa. Para mí ha sido lo mejor que he leído en muchos años. Me identifiqué tanto con ella por las muchas similicitudes en nuestras vidas. Yo soy la mayor de una familia numerosa y las anecdotas me son familiares. Aunque me crié en el pueblo, viví la experiencia de los partos de mami y los calditos de pollo. Me identifico con Luisa con el cuido a sus hermanos. Otras partes las asocio con Yauco. La descripción es sublime y fácil para que otros entiendan lo que describes. Sigue escribiendo, que pones en alto el nombre de Puerto Rico."

S. Rivera Martínez
Cabo Rojo, PR

"Terminé de leer Luisa y me encantó. Me transportó a casa de una de mis bisabuelas paternas en el Barrio Demajagua de Fajardo. Especialmente cuando están preparando la comida para la celebración del Día de los Reyes Magos. Las hijas y nietas (hijos y nietos también) cada una con su trabajo dentro de esa preparación y la algarabía entre ellos en anticipación por encontrarse con más familia y amistades del barrio. Todo era exáctamente como lo escribes en Luisa. Gracias por hacerme recordar esas reuniones familiares. Te felicito."

Y. Mendoza
Naguabo, PR


Excerpt from Chapter 16 of Luisa

“Luisa,” began Rosa, “I couldn’t help but notice that Chenta is expecting another baby. I guess when I saw her five weeks ago it either was not so obvious, or I was just unaware of anything but Micaela at that time. When is she due?”

                “I don’t know for sure,” replied Luisa. “You know that she never talks about these things. She has a round figure anyway, which is probably why you did not notice it before, but now it is at the stage where there is no denying it.”

                “I would think that she only has two or three months left,” observed Petra. “What are they going to do? You are already bursting at the seams at that house.”

                “I have been wondering that myself,” Luisa admitted. “The babies always stay with Papá and Chenta until another baby comes, but there is no other place to put Mina at this time. I suppose that they can leave Mina in their room while the new baby still fits in the cradle. After that, I do not know. We already have four girls in one room and three boys in another. It does not seem right to put Mina in with the boys, even if she is only a year old.”

                Petra turned from the stove and wiped her hands on her apron. With a huge smile on her face and a wink she said, “Well, now that we are talking about babies…guess what?”

                “What?” exclaimed both Rosa and Luisa at the same time.

                “No!” gasped Luisa.

                “Yes,” affirmed Petra.

                With squeals, the sisters threw their arms around each other in a three-way hug.

368 pages | $18.99 USD | 5 x 0.76 x 8 | 978-1685154905 | November 30, 2021