In High Spirits, Camille Gomera-Tavarez invites readers to gather round and listen to "tales passed down from the generations above them, offering a bridge between the young earth and the fossil stars." In her debut collection, 11 resonant tales share the experiences of the multigenerational Belén family from the fictional town of Hidalpa, Dominican Republic. The self-contained, slice-of-life stories are from Gomera-Tavarez's own life as well as tales passed down by her relatives. Belén family members flit between stories, which take place in both the past and present and in varying locations. Most stories are grounded in reality, but some have tinges of magical realism, and all share relatable themes like identity, toxic masculinity and mental health.
This nostalgic collection of family stories is stunning. --Lana Barnes, freelance reviewer and proofreader