I would consider this to be a true story because of the information given in the author's note, yet it is listed as a novel. Resau met Maria Virginia Fernango in Colorado and the two collaborated on this book together. Fernango has led an amazing life, and this book shines light on a population and their lifestyle that was unknown to me. Fernango's story is one of hope as she persevered and found a way out of her humble beginnings. The author's note at book's end explains the practice of the indigena selling their children to other families to work for them. This group is looked down upon, yet it is their ancestors that first populated Ecuador, Chile, and Peru. Over time Virginia learns to appreciate the Quichua language she has forgotten over the years and the family she left behind.
Of course there is more to this story as Fernango is now married with a child of her own. I would love to read more about her life after she was chosen as the Queen of Water and moved forward in the pursuit of her dreams. Laura Resau's website is a good source of more information about this book as well.