Book Review: Sabrina & Corina

Book Review: Sabrina & CorinaSabrina & Corina
by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
on April 2, 2019
Pages: 224
Published by One World
Genres: Diverse Spines, Short Stories

Indigenous Latina women living in the American West take center stage in this debut collection of stories--a powerful meditation on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands.

Kali Fajardo-Anstine's magnetic debut story collection breathes life into her Indigenous Latina characters and the land they inhabit. Set against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado--a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite--these women navigate the land the way they navigate their own lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.

In "Sugar Babies," ancestry and heritage are hidden inside the earth, but have the tendency to ascend during land disputes. "Any Further West" follows a sex worker and her daughter as they leave their ancestral home in southern Colorado only to find a foreign and hostile land in California. In "Tomi," a woman returns home from prison, finding herself in a gentrified city that is a shadow of the one she remembers from her childhood. And in the title story, "Sabrina & Corina," a Denver family falls into a cycle of violence against women, coming together only through ritual.

Sabrina & Corina is a moving narrative of unrelenting feminine power and an exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home.

My Takeaway
“Sometimes a person’s unhappiness can make them forget they are a part of something bigger, something like a family, a people, even a tribe.”
Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Sabrina & Karina

I LOVED THIS BOOK! Fajardo-Anstine is a magnificent and wondrous composer, and her stories were music to my ears. I hope she is working on her next book. Also, can we stop and goo-goo-gaga over the cover? Isn’t it just incredible? I fell head over heels in love with the stunning cover. 😍 I mean guao (wow). The stories were about Latina women of indigenous descent from all walks of life and with a plethora of calamities. Most of the stories featured some melancholy, but with Fajardo-Anstine’s touch, the women’s tragedies were humane and perceivable. Two stories which stood out to me were Sabrina & Corina, cousins raised together who end up on drastically different paths. In addition, the story Remedies because when I was in the second grade, there was a lice epidemic at school and I became one of its unlucky hosts. My lice dilemma became legendary in my family. My mom tried all kinds of over the counter products, but the lice refused to hit the road! My mom’s pride and joy was my hair and cutting it was simply never an option! Incredibly not one thing worked until she prepared a natural remedy (and a few prayers). I highly recommend this fantastic collection even if you’re not into short stories. The characters and stories will stay with you long after you’re done reading this gem.

Thank you to NetGalley and One World for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. You already know I purchased my copy!

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