Contreras’s memoir is one woman’s reckoning with her family’s turbulent past and how it intersects with her country’s colonial legacy.

Ingrid is almost a clone of her mother. As it turns out the two share more than just their looks. Ingrid and her mother have both suffered from head injuries that have resulted in temporary amnesia that opens up mystical doorways.

The amnesia forces Ingrid, who grew up in Bogota, Columbia to re-examine what she knew about her life.

Her grandfather, Nono, is a curandero–a traditional healer who uses herbs and mysticism. Though he is not literate in the traditional sense, he is able to heal the sick and develops a following. Even after his death, his followers slip requests for miracles into his coffin.

The Contreras family migrates to the U.S. for safety after both sisters experience a a botched kidnapping. They suffer from trauma yet they deal with it in different ways. Ingrid is drawn to the supernatural, like her mother and grandfather while Ximena is a skeptic.

When Ingrid’s mami and the tias, and even Ingrid herself, have the same dream about Nono, they realize he wants rest. They return to Columbia to disinter his body and distribute his ashes in a river.

This memoir about family secrets and South American legends is an enjoyable read, especially if read with an open mind.