Every once in awhile, I like to read something that is very different from my usual fare. Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone by Sequoia Nagamatsu definitely fits this description!
Each of the twelve short stories in this collection have a root in "everyday life" and Japanese culture (parents and children, romantic partners, workplace and employees), but they quickly leap from there with science fiction and fantasy elements. I'm firmly grounded in reality as a reader and as a human, so this was a HUGE stretch for me.
I liked the audio narration by June Angela and Brian Nishii, but the stories were so unique in content and structure, it was difficult to determine where one ended and the next began from the audio alone. (I think the narrators alternated stories, but I'm still not sure.)
I've heard rave reviews for the author's 2022 novel How High We Go In The Dark, which probably explains the timing of this audiobook being produced in 2022 when these stories were first published in 2016. Readers who enjoy science fiction and fantasy will probably appreciate them, but they were just too far from reality for me to find meaning in them. Mine is an unpopular opinion; your experience may vary.
Thank you to Libro.fm and NetGalley for access to the digital audiobook of this title. I'm certain I wouldn't have read it in any other format.