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“This book was poignant and sad and beautiful. The audiobook was narrated by Alma Cuervo who was the perfect voice to encapsulate Antonia Vega, a recently widowed and retired professor who finds herself in the middle of a few disasters when a pregnant undocumented teen shows up in her garage and her older sister goes missing. Alvarez' portrayal of sisterhood with Alma and her three sisters, all wild and uncontrollable in their own way, is beautiful. Though this short novel, you get to see Alma learn to leave with the grief of losing her husband and begin to open up again with the help of her sisters and a teen in need. Alvarez's writing is gorgeous and she brings her characters to life beautifully. She tackles immigration issue and fears as well as grief and mental illness. Though the novel is short, Alvarez packs a punch with every word she puts forward.”Kimi,
Buttonwood Books and Toys
The author of In the Time of the Butterflies, with more than one million copies in print, is back with a tour de force. Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves—her favorite authors’ lines play in her head like a soundtrack—but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words. Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in a small Vermont town, it shows how culture and politics intersect with place and asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially— members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?