Arlene J. Chai The Last Time I Saw Mother

ISBN 13: 9780449912348

The Last Time I Saw Mother

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9780449912348: The Last Time I Saw Mother

"AN OFTEN LYRICAL AND ALWAYS TOUGH-MINDED DEBUT . . . Provides rare insight into the three cultures--Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino--that coexist in the Philippines."
--The New York Times Book Review

Caridad's mother never writes. So when a letter arrives for her in Sydney from Manila, Caridad doesn't even recognize her mother's handwriting. There is more distance than just miles between the two women. And that is why Caridad is called home. Her mother needs to talk. And to reveal a secret that has been weighing heavily on her for years.

As Caridad hears at last the unspoken stories, and the never forgotten tragedy of the war years, she will learn a startling truth that will change her life forever. For Caridad is not who she thinks she is. . . .

"Beautifully written . . . Reading each chapter is like having a conversation with a close friend."
--Chicago Tribune

"A sensitive . . . portrait of a family of Filipina women . . . The novel illuminates much modern Philippine history."
--The Boston Globe

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

When an oblique letter summons Caridad from Australia to her mother's side in the steamy Philippines, she travels there fearing loss. And loss she finds, but one that finally throws light on the whispers that dogged her life in this land where Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino cultures slap against one another. "The past defines us as much as the present," says Caridad. "Because mine was missing, I never felt whole." Four women--Caridad, her mother Thelma, aunt Emma, and cousin Ligaya--piece together the puzzle of a life begun in wartime. Their vantage points differ, but their stories are silver-tongued and spellbinding even as Ligaya's bitterness stains the pages and Emma's long, mute acceptance of fate's cruelty rings false. Wrapped around Caridad's story is a far bigger one of the years when the Japanese occupied the Philippines and American liberation forces decimated the country.

From the Publisher:

"A remarkable first novel filled with family secrets and the intersection of personal and world histories, told through four mesmerizing voices."
--Amy Tan

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Chai, Arlene J.
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Book Description Ballantine Books, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. My mother never writes. So when the mail arrived that day, I was not expecting to find a letter from her. There was no warning. Between generations of women, there are always secrets--relationships kept hidden, past events obscured, true feelings not spoken. But sometimes the truth is so primal it must be told. Now, with haunting lyricism and emotional clarity, Arlene Chai has written an exquisite novel about a family of women who break their silence. At the center of The Last Time I Saw Mother is the singular story of a woman who suddenly learns she is not who she thinks she is.Caridad is a wife and mother, a native of the Philippines living in Sydney, Australia. Out of the blue Caridad s mother summons her home. Although she is not ill, Thelma needs to talk to her daughter -- to reveal a secret that has been weighing heavily on her for years.It is a tale that Caridad in no way suspects. She stopped asking questions about the past long ago; her mother s constant reluctance to answer finally subdued her curiosity. Now, it is through the words of Thelma, her aunt Emma, and her cousin Ligaya, that Caridad will learn the startling truth and attempt to recapture what has been lost to her. Arlene Chai tells their versions of the story in their own voices, each one distinct, moving, and magical. As each woman tells her part of their family s hidden history, Caridad hears at last the unspoken stories--the joys and sorrows that her parents kept to themselves, and the never forgotten tragedy of the war years, when Japan s brutal occupation and civilian deprivations helped destroy a country and its history. The Last Time I Saw Mother is about mothers and daughters. It is about acultural identity born of Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino influence. And it is about the healing power of truth. Arlene Chai is one of the most stunning new novelists in years. She takes us to a place we have never been before. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780449912348

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Arlene J Chai
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Book Description Ballantine Books, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. My mother never writes. So when the mail arrived that day, I was not expecting to find a letter from her. There was no warning. Between generations of women, there are always secrets--relationships kept hidden, past events obscured, true feelings not spoken. But sometimes the truth is so primal it must be told. Now, with haunting lyricism and emotional clarity, Arlene Chai has written an exquisite novel about a family of women who break their silence. At the center of The Last Time I Saw Mother is the singular story of a woman who suddenly learns she is not who she thinks she is.Caridad is a wife and mother, a native of the Philippines living in Sydney, Australia. Out of the blue Caridad s mother summons her home. Although she is not ill, Thelma needs to talk to her daughter -- to reveal a secret that has been weighing heavily on her for years.It is a tale that Caridad in no way suspects. She stopped asking questions about the past long ago; her mother s constant reluctance to answer finally subdued her curiosity. Now, it is through the words of Thelma, her aunt Emma, and her cousin Ligaya, that Caridad will learn the startling truth and attempt to recapture what has been lost to her. Arlene Chai tells their versions of the story in their own voices, each one distinct, moving, and magical. As each woman tells her part of their family s hidden history, Caridad hears at last the unspoken stories--the joys and sorrows that her parents kept to themselves, and the never forgotten tragedy of the war years, when Japan s brutal occupation and civilian deprivations helped destroy a country and its history. The Last Time I Saw Mother is about mothers and daughters. It is about acultural identity born of Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino influence. And it is about the healing power of truth. Arlene Chai is one of the most stunning new novelists in years. She takes us to a place we have never been before. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780449912348

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Book Description Ballantine Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 352 pages. Dimensions: 8.0in. x 5.1in. x 0.9in.AN OFTEN LYRICAL AND ALWAYS TOUGH-MINDED DEBUT . . . Provides rare insight into the three cultures--Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino--that coexist in the Philippines. --The New York Times Book ReviewCaridads mother never writes. So when a letter arrives for her in Sydney from Manila, Caridad doesnt even recognize her mothers handwriting. There is more distance than just miles between the two women. And that is why Caridad is called home. Her mother needs to talk. And to reveal a secret that has been weighing heavily on her for years. As Caridad hears at last the unspoken stories, and the never forgotten tragedy of the war years, she will learn a startling truth that will change her life forever. For Caridad is not who she thinks she is. . . . Beautifully written . . . Reading each chapter is like having a conversation with a close friend. --Chicago TribuneA sensitive . . . portrait of a family of Filipina women . . . The novel illuminates much modern Philippine history. --The Boston Globe This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780449912348

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