When Carmen Teresa receives a notebook as a holiday gift, the guests suggest she write down their childhood stories. So begins the novella “Salsa Stories” by Lulu Delacre. Nine colorful stories in all from friends and family from all over Latin America are documented in Carmen Teresa’s notebook. These stories dance, sashay, and shimmy through a your of Latin American holidays and customs.
Maybe it is Uncle Robert’s story of the Birthday Pinata that will make you hungry for chiles rellenos or understand what we risk for the people we love.
Maybe it is Abuelita’s story about the night of San Juan, about making wishes for friends, about riding waves, and knowing these wishes would come true.
Maybe it is Flor’s story about growing up in Guatemala and building a carpet for Holy Week.
Carmen Teresa has a difficult choice to make regarding which stories get written down and in which order. She surprises herself – and the others around the table – when she says no to all of their suggestions.
Instead, she has come up with a way to honor their heritage, their stories, and their memories of holidays in the past.
Delacre tells a beautiful story within a story in this book. With a recipe guide to the Latin American foods that are mentioned, as well as a glossary to define the words used, readers will enjoy this celebration of culture.