At 70, Flor Marte is the second eldest of four Dominican American sisters who are all gifted with special powers. Flor’s power is that she can predict when someone will die. Inspired by a dream about losing her teeth, as well as a documentary that her daughter, Ona, told her about, Flor decides to throw her own living wake. As her family reluctantly prepares for the wake, the fear that Flor will soon die stirs a need in each of her sisters—Pastora, Mathilde and Camila—as well as in Ona and in Flor’s niece, Yadi, to confront the lies within their own lives.
Rich narration from three different sources conveys the mystical elements of Family Lore (10 hours). Sixta Morel voices the four Marte sisters, while the book’s author, Elizabeth Acevedo, voices Ona, from whose perspective we hear the stories of each of the six women unfold. It can be hard to distinguish between the characters’ voices, with the exception of Yadi, whose confident proclamations about her vaginal superpowers are delivered by a third narrator, Danyeli Rodriguez del Orbe. But as the novel jumps back and forth between past and present, the interplay of Acevedo, Morel and Rodriguez del Orbe’s voices lends a magical storytelling quality to the Marte family’s tale.