A huge-hearted novel about three generations of women preparing for a living wake – the debut adult novel from the National Book Award-winning poet and YA author of The Poet X
‘Family Lore is full of beautiful prose, even-handed magic and all the pains and triumphs of intergenerational bonds’ KILEY REID, author of Such A Fun Age
The Marte women are preparing for a gathering that will change their lives forever
Flor has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So when she decides to host her own living wake – bringing together her family and community to celebrate her long life – her sisters Matilde, Pastora and Camila are concerned. What has she foreseen?
But Flor isn’t the only one with a secret. Matilde has tried to hide the extent of her husband’s infidelity for years, and now must confront the true state of her marriage. Pastora – always on a mission to solve her sisters’ problems – needs to come to terms with her past. And Camila, the youngest sibling, has decided she no longer wants to be taken for granted. Alongside their struggles, the next generation of Marte women face their own tumult of family obligations, infertility, and heartache.
Spanning the three days prior to the wake, Family Lore traces the intertwining stories of these sisters and cousins, mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces, to ask the ultimate question: what does it take to live a good life, for yourself and those you love?
“Acevedo is a master of time. Family Lore is full of beautiful prose, even-handed magic and all the pains and triumphs of intergenerational bonds. Tender, moving and altogether lovely. Not one word is wasted here”
Kiley Reid, Author Of Such A Fun Age
See more reviews
“An exuberant, polyphonic story of one family’s reckoning with their past … Acevedo’s background in spoken-word poetry shines through in the energy and lyricism of her prose … But the novel’s greatest triumph is in the warmth of her portrayal of these women, their strength and stubbornness, and the inseparability of love and grief”
“There is potent magic in these pages, passed down through this lineage of powerful sisters who have captured my heart. How does Acevedo do it? Reading Family Lore is like an embrace, and I am filled with nostalgia for a family I have never had and could never have imagined”
Ruth Ozeki, Author Of The Book Of Form And Emptiness
“An expansive story that follows three generations of the Marte family … [Family Lore] mixes the old-timey lyricism typical of the genre with a plethora of twenty-first-century references … [Acevedo’s] writing is undeniably beautiful, overflowing with original turns of phrase and polished prose”
“A labyrinthine tale of sisterhood and the chaos of love … the depth, grace and nuance Acevedo gives her characters is palpable; her love for these women comes through with arresting clarity … Pearls of magic and wisdom, hard but not hardened, the story of the Marte sisters is a treasure to behold”
new York Times Book Review
Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican-American National Poetry Slam Champion and New York Times-bestselling author. She is the author of the young adult novels The Poet X, With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land. The Poet X is a New York Times bestseller, winner of the National Book Award and the Carnegie Medal, and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. She was selected by The Poetry Foundation as the Young Poet’s Poet Laureate of 2022.
@acevedowrites | acevedowrites.com