America Is Not the Heart (Hardback)Elaine Castillo (author)
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As for loving America or not loving America, these aren’t your problems, either. Your word for love is survival. Everything else is a story that isn’t about you.
How many lives can one person lead in a single lifetime?
When Hero De Vera arrives in America, disowned by her parents in the Philippines, she's already on her third. Her uncle, Pol, who has offered her a fresh start and a place to stay in the Bay Area, knows not to ask about the first and second. And his younger wife, Paz, has learned enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down.
Only their daughter Roni asks Hero why her hands seem to scream with hurt at the steering wheel of the car she drives to collect her from school, and only Rosalyn, the fierce but open-hearted beautician, has any hope of bringing Hero back from the dead.
Praised by the Guardian as 'a blazingly fearless debut novel', America is not the Heart is a soulful literary saga set in the early nineties of San Francisco. It is, at once, a coming-of-age story, a story about the redemptive, restorative power of love, about trust and fear, hair and makeup, food and sex. A novel about belonging and not belonging at the same time. Confronting up-to-the-minute debates about immigration and national identity, it's a book that leaves a striking impression.
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 675 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 29 mm
'a blazingly fearless debut novel' - The Guardian
'The next big thing... It has drama and tragedy in spades, but it also has so much love of every kind spilling out of it pages that I closed it each night with a huge, warm smile' - The Paris Review
'This book is it: one of the best debut novels (and novels, period) of recent years. It is the absorbing saga of one family, centred on one young woman, who immigrates to the US from the Philippines; it's about the toil the past has on us, and the false promise of the American Dream; it is about love and intimacy.' - Elle
'Entrancing and magnificent. Don't say you were not told. Dazzling.' - NoViolet Bulawayo
'Beautifully tender, and a powerfully crafted portrayal of intimacy and the rawness of human emotion that will linger with you long after you've finished reading it.' - Otegha Uwagba
'Epic in its scale, sharp-as slam-poetry on the sentence level. Profound and mesmerising.' - Meena Kandasamy
'An intimate epic about immigrant women's losses, triumphs and desires. A bold, tender debut; its characters thrum with life.' - Luiza Sauma
'This is the book I didn't know I needed. This unexpected family, this history, this embrace of the sacred and the profane, this easy humour, this deeply felt human-ness, this messy, perfect love story.' - Jade Chang
'Glorious... a sharp, bracing, often hilarious family epic about a young woman tormented by the relentless ghosts of her past while in search of an American Dream that is not always available to those who seek it.' - Samantha Irby
'Wondrous. A nimble, vibrant, deeply moving feat, full of heart, humour and wisdom.' - Irenosen Okojie
'A sprawling tale of three generations of Filipino women, this wonderful book encompasses everything from political upheaval to familial understanding.' - Stylist
'Elaine Castillo's full-throated debut, America is Not the Heart is quite simply one of the best first novels I've ever read.' - John Freeman, Lit Hub
'If peaches were the most tender fruit of 2017 thanks to Call Me By Your Name, this year prepare to have your heart melted by a persimmon. - AnOther Magazine
'In this complex, nuanced novel, Castillo delves into a reality too often ignored by mainstream America, uncovering universal emotional truths along the way.' - Harper's Bazaar, best April books
'Castillo emerges as one of 2018's boldest new voices with this debut.' - Entertainment Weekly'I really love this book.' - Sam Baker, The Pool
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“5 Stars - I loved every word!”
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book so much and was completely immersed in the story each time I picked it up. Set during the 80’s and 90’s this novel follows the... More
“Shocking, heartbreaking, deeply affecting, confronting, balls-out, raw, passionate, sensual.”
Those are just some of the words I noted down whilst reading this book. An amazing debut from Elaine Castillo who for me epitomises a good writer: someone who is able to convey a range of emotions and feelings that... More
“So insightful it's almost painful”
America Is Not The Heart is a very slow-burn, layered, circuitous story full of technical skill and intense, quietly expressed, emotion. The story of Hero, a young woman, cast out by her immediate family, and marked... More
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