Tuesday, April 8, 2014


As a helping of a down-home magical realism, this collection of 16 short stories explores the human spirit inherent in the bilingual, bicultural world of the Texas-Mexico border. With a fresh sense of humor and human understanding, these stories skillfully bridge the gap between miracles and tragedies, prejudice and transcendence, and oppression and liberation. From the comical exploration of the hypocrisy expressed at funerals to the spiritual mission of a magical tortilla, the collection draws upon a wide range of emotions but comes together in a singular, powerful voice that reflects the holiness found in everyday life.

Reviewed by: Bela
Rating: 3 stars

Review: Author Carmen Tafolla presents us with a collection of short stories with a delicious blend of heart and poetry. Originating from a land of healing and wonder, these tales will make you feel as if you were listening to a Mexican curandera.
I particularly enjoyed "La Santisima Maria Pilar, the Queen of Mean," a story of a girl that ruins a beloved dish by hiding a dirty diaper in it. Who would want to be around this girl? I guess it's true what they say: "...some men are so stupid they'll fall for anything wearing a skirt. Anything." (16) 

In “Invisible,” a woman sees beauty in herself by acknowledging the beauty in people that refused to see her.

I did feel, however, that some stories were a tad bit eccentric, like “The Holy Tortilla,” a story of a simple tortilla reflecting an image of the Virgin Mary in its rising steam.

Although beautifully written, these stories contained too much of a religious aspect that seemed too ludicrous at times. Still, I can’t imagine anyone not finding a story to relate to or cherish somewhere in this collection.