If you loved Things We Lost In The Fire, odds are you’ll like this one as well. Enriquez repeats her successful formula with short haunting stories, most of them featuring teenagers or women in their early twenties layered with social commentary.
Again we encounter orphans living on the street, transgender prostitutes, vanishing women and San Muerte followers, plus new themes that form part of Latin American folklore like baby angels and dead relatives coming back to life. It is not magical realism but horror, but done so well it feels real. It took me back to being babysat by my great grandmother and hearing eerie tales of times long gone.
However, consensus seems to be that The Dangers of Smoking in Bed is not as good as Things We Lost In The Fire and I tend to agree. Though spooky and interesting, most stories lack that shock feeling that was present in Things We Lost In The Fire; that haunting that you can’t shake us. Having said that, the first story in this collection has been tattooed on my memory forever. Maybe reading it at 3am during a winter storm was not a great idea.