We Have Always Been Who We Are

Blackstone Audio. Oct. 2023. 6:02 hrs. ISBN 9798200879991. $49.95. F
Pushcart Prize–nominated Romero debuts with a dynamic collection of interrelated short stories, twisting and turning between the real, the surreal, and the quietly magical. The collection is presented by three talented narrators: Frankie Corzo, who offers clear, down-to-earth tones, seamlessly interweaving Spanish with English; Carolina Hoyos, who imbues her narration with confidence and conviction; and Inés del Castillo, whose youthful voice adds a note of innocence. In “Ashes to Ashes,” the remains of a deceased mother offer advice to her son’s fiancée, while in “No Good Answer,” a cat moves in and takes over a woman’s home. Listeners will also discover a man who slowly disappears into a fog as he becomes someone else, elephants escaping from zoos and circuses and making their way across the continent, and a bayside cottage in an artist colony with a closet full of talking jars. The collection moves with alacrity from one story to the next, featuring recurring characters and themes in an enchanting, mystical parade.
VERDICT An imaginative collection of short stories that makes an impact. Share with fans of Aimee Bender’s The Girl in the Flammable Skirt or Lorrie Moore’s Collected Stories.
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