...this book works. You don't have to believe Florinda Donner experienced or witnessed everything in this book to find something useful about her portrayal of the life of a Venezuelan healer and spiritualist (our modern, American terms). Read it like a novel that certainly feels like it was thoroughly researched. You'll find it an excellent journey to a place you've never been before.
I really wanted to like this book...but it just left me cold. I slogged thru the whole thing. Try instead "The Sorcerer's Crossing", "The Reluctant Shaman", or "Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior" (although Sacred Journey is not about nagualism, etc.). Any of those 3 are much more interesting,engrossing, and insightful.
I can't leave this marvelous book with a couple of limited reviews here at Amazon, even though it's been ten years since I last read it. Donner's story is simply a great human story; it's really about becoming more human. It's about the simple necessities in life, about the choices we are forced to make when choices are most limited, and about the life we find through that "cubic centimeter of chance." It gets outside -- thank God! -- the crime and punishment limited mentality of America....and of course that is why such a book will bore some readers and frighten others.