In our second book review of August, Jeannine Burgdorf combs through Elizabeth Acevedo’s remarkable debut novel. She writes that Family Lore is “impossible to put down,” and incorporates Acevedo’s sensibilities as a poet throughout. Read the full review at the link below.
In Family Lore, the first novel by poet and YA author Elizabeth Acevedo, desires exist not only to be satisfied, but for their own sake, whether they can be quenched or not. But that does not mean that the women of the Marte family, having quenched their thirsts, are freed of desires, disappointments, blessings, and curses. In fact, each of their complex encounters with their own desires drives the propulsive force of the novel and makes Acevedo’s debut impossible to put down.
The novel focuses on the sisters of who grew up in the Dominican Republic countryside and, at different times, moved to New York City: Mathilde, Flor, Pastora, and Camila, as well as cousins Ona, Flor’s daughter, and Yadi, Pastora’s daughter. Each has a unique gift, but the novel is framed by Flor’s gift to foretell death from her dreams. At age seventy, Flor has seen her own death and plans to host a living wake for herself.