BOOK REVIEW / Bookshop Window: The Miracle-Worker - Carmen Boullosa, Tr Amanda Hopkinson: Jonathan Cape, pounds 9.99.

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The Independent Culture
This short novel explores the world of a Mexican miracle-worker. We open with her own secret musings on her work - she dreams miracles into existence each night. Then we flick to fragments from the lives of those she has helped, in a glorious series of vernacular voices that all long for the same thing in different ways: 'Make me different. Into someone who isn't as I am.' But as Boullosa reaches beyond even these ambitious realms - the miracle-worker falls in love, loses her magical powers and gets caught up in an incomprehensible political debacle - the novel topples into uncertainty. This may be deliberate - 'The great question mark is still hanging over us' - but to leave so slim a work quite so open-ended seems anything but miraculous.