The Faraway World: Stories

S. & S. Audio. Jan. 2023. 6:59 hrs. ISBN 9781797149349. $19.99. F
Engel’s (Infinite Country) short story collection features 10 minidramas about Latino women, narrated by a cast of 11 performers. Each story is full of emotion and compassion, and all are compelling listens owing to stellar performances. Highlights include “Aida,” with Inés del Castillo giving voice to a teenager full of angst and pain when her twin sister doesn’t come home after school. Alejandra Reynoso pours on the suspense as she narrates “Fausto,” a story of two immigrant lovers who resort to trafficking drugs for their future. Engel and narrator George Newbern shine as wife and husband in “Book of Saints,” an account of a mail-order bride and her groom whose loveless marriage brings him the child he so desperately wants. Aida Reluzco’s performance is tear-jerking in “Guapa,” the tragic tale of an overweight girl who undergoes multiple surgeries to lose weight for her beloved. Each narrative features characters that either live in or are immigrants from Central or South America. The stories demand that all narrators deliver content with authentic accents—which they do splendidly.
VERDICT A satisfying, exquisitely narrated mix of sweet and bittersweet tales of love.
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