America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a great read about several Filipino women - one who supports her family as a nurse, returning to the Philippines at one point before marrying and moving to the United States. The focus eventually turns to Hero, who is a refugee after living as a political prisoner for ten years. She finds home and family in a Filipino community in California and even finds love. The end of the novel, in fact turns into a bit of a romance novel, and possibly the most realistic portrayal of a bisexual woman I have seen in fiction.
I learned a lot about Filipino languages, culture, and history that I didn't know before.
There are a lot of pop culture references inside the novel itself, much of them for Filipino movies, tv shows, and music. If you felt left out or uneducated, you can at least listen to the author's Spotify playlist for the novel.
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