So Far From God Summary and Study Guide

Ana Castillo

So Far From God

  • 39-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 16 chapter summaries and 5 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a professional writer with an MFA in Creative Writing
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So Far From God Summary and Study Guide

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 39-page guide for “So Far From God” by Ana Castillo includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 16 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like Melding Traditions and Patriarchal Dominance.

Plot Summary

So Far from God, by Ana Castillo, follows the lives of Sofi and her four daughters Esperanza, Caridad, Fe, and La Loca. They live in the small town of Tome, New Mexico, and endure hardship after hardship. The novel moves back and forth in time fluidly, often visiting the same periods more than once to provide more information.

At eighteen, Sofi marries Domingo, a disreputable gambler. After the birth of La Loca, Sofi banishes Domingo from the family farm when he begins to gamble away the land she inherited from her father. For the next twenty years, the family hears nothing from Domingo, and Sofi raises the four girls on her own, until Domingo’s mysterious return. At fifty-three, Sofi becomes the unofficial mayor of the town and enacts significant economic and social change in the community. After the death of La Loca, Sofi founds M.O.M.A.S., an organization where mothers of saints and martyrs can gather together and share experiences.

La Loca falls ill at three years old and is pronounced dead. She then rises from the dead during her own funeral (or else was mistakenly deemed dead in the first place), ascends to the church’s roof, and claims she has traveled to heaven, hell, and purgatory. From that time on, she is reclusive and never ventures far from her mother’s house. She has the gift of premonitions as well as healing powers. In her twenties, La Loca contracts AIDS and dies. She is venerated as a saint by the community and visits earth in spirit form after her death.

Fe leads a normal, quiet life as a bank teller until her fiancé breaks up with her.She spends the next year of her life screaming constantly. After recovering miraculously, she returns to work at the bank and eventually marries her cousin, Casimiro. Desiring a higher wage, Fe starts working at Acme International, a factory that uses toxic chemicals to clean machinery parts. Due to chemical exposure, Fe contracts cancer and dies at twenty-seven.

After Caridad’s husband is unfaithful to her, she embarks on a path of heavy drinking and casual sex. One night, she is brutally attacked and abandoned on the side of the road. She spends the next year in Sofi’s house at the same time Fe contends with her breakup. The two are miraculously healed on the same night, and Caridad is returned to her former self. She is also gifted with vision and healing powers and is guided in the ways of the curandera, or folk healer, by doña Felicia. Caridad falls in love with a Native Acoma woman named Esmeralda; the two jump off the side of mesa together and are absorbed into the earth.

Esperanza pursues her education and becomes a TV journalist. She is sent on assignment to Saudi Arabia, where she eventually goes missing and is pronounced dead. After her death, she still visits her family in spirit form.

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Chapters 1-3