Sebastián, though fiercely devoted to his family, has left his father's farm in the mountains of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. Settling in the bustling seaside town of Ponce in 1870, he embarks on a new career as a carpenter and is ready to embrace the cultural differences and new experiences to be found. Part of his adventure involves a young woman who looks and acts differently from the country girls he has always known. Will his new friends and new life mesh with his family back home and their lifestyle? In the process of this change, Sebastián must come to terms with his beliefs, his self-image, and his hopes for the future and a family of his own.
Sebastián is the continuing story of the Torres family which began with Luisa. Based on true-life ancestors in the author's family tree, Sebastián will continue to enlighten readers about the history and traditions of 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. Those who fell in love with Sebastián's sister, Luisa, will be equally drawn to this likeable young man and his inspiring story.
Excerpt from Chapter 4:
The bedroom door opened and Francisco called out, “Sebastián, there is a pretty girl here that I want you to meet.”
Sebastián stared in surprise and confusion as a young woman came through the doorway carrying a tiny baby wrapped in a receiving blanket. She was indeed very pretty! She had dark brown wavy hair that fell almost to her shoulders and framed a lovely, dimpled face. Sparkling dark eyes were peeping out at him from under the longest lashes that he had ever seen on a woman. Her mouth was curved into an impish smile.
“See? Isn’t she pretty?” the young lady said, gently pulling the blanket away from the baby’s face so that Sebastián could get a look.
Oh! Francisco had been referring to the baby, not to the young woman holding her.
“Yes…yes, she is most definitely very pretty,” replied Sebastián, marveling that his voice sounded almost normal to his own ears. “But who…you are not the midwife, are you? Doña Balbina?” Now his voice had taken on a tone of incredulity.
The girl’s tinkling laughter had a little hiccup at the end of it which caused Sebastián to smile. Whoever she was, she seemed like a really fun person.
“Balbina is my aunt. I am learning midwifery from her and I accompany her when I can. My name is Teresa García.”
“I am Sebastiana’s brother, Sebastián Torres.”
“Yes, I know.” There was that impish smile again. “Here, do you want to hold your niece?”
She gently placed the bundle in his arms, and Sebastián felt his pulse quickening. It surely wasn’t from holding a newborn; with so many younger siblings plus two nieces and one nephew, he had had plenty of experience doing that. No, he realized with a little jolt of alarm, it was from Teresa’s close proximity as she handed off the baby.
“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.