The Bolero of Andi Rowe by Toni Margarita Plummer
Winner of the Miguel Mármol Prize, this collection of inter-related stories delves into the life of Andi Rowe—a young woman of Mexican and Irish heritage—to give an intimate account of one family’s passage from the immigrant story to the American story, and the cycle of loss, adaptation, and rediscovery that is innate to that experience.
Set largely in Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley, and crossing generations and borders, these stories focus on the quiet moments between explosions, where tension simmers just beneath the surface. From a Border Patrol agent whose own mother crossed the border illegally to a lonely woman seeking companionship with her hired day-laborer, characters seek revelation in the most ordinary of experiences, their actions filled with humor, longing, and honesty.
In the tradition of Flannery O’Connor, Toni Margarita Plummer explores themes of grace and redemption as each story spirals toward a surprising but inevitable conclusion. The Bolero of Andi Rowe, an impressive work by an exciting new talent, offers a compassionate look at the struggle between meeting cultural expectations and seeking happiness, and the sacrifices and triumphs made along the way.