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  • Gabby Womack

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

And now, I share one of my latest five-star reads...

Brooklyn New York Latin Neighborhood in the background tinted with dark blue. Three bunches of colorful, Caribbean flowers and leaves frame the bottom of the book cover. Blue book cover lined with bright yellow to match the text "Family Lore" hovering over a tan peacock chair decorated with pink and red flowers. At the chair's base, Elizabeth Acevedo - Winner of the National Book Award. Around the cover, six white arrow point to text: Dominican-American, Multi-generational, Mystical abilities, A Living Wake, Haunting Pasts, Sisterhood.
Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

Another incredible novel by Elizabeth Acevedo! In her debut adult novel, the Marte women confront their memories and each other as Flor, the second sister and seer of death, plans her own living wake. Flor's announcement leaves everyone shaken and begging to know whether she has seen her own death and when it will happen.

Through this generational tale, Acevedo captures the mystical beliefs and abilities that it seems every Caribbean and Latin family holds. I felt almost as if she was somehow related to me because her descriptions of the characters, their conversations, and gifts sounded so similar to what I grew up around. There's something about Acevedo's way of portraying these observations within our community that feels so tender and complex that I want to savor it.

Unsurprisingly, the Marte family is quite large which makes for a lot of characters to keep up with. Thankfully, we are blessed with a "table of principal persons" at the beginning of the book that describes each family member, their relation to one another, their gift or other identifier, and years of birth to death. Despite this large cast, the novel follows the stories of the Marte sisters (Matilde, Flor, Pastora, and Camila) and their daughters (Ona and Yadi). With the table, I found the stories easy to follow.

This is a quite a lot of sensuality on display in this book so if you're not comfortable with that, maybe this isn't for you. Regardless, I will be holding my copy close to my heart and recommending this book as much as possible.

Note: Bi/Pansexual Rep included!

Available August 1st, 2023 - Request it for your local library today!!


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