This novel presents a youthful experience coupled with a father's historical recollection from the early years of the 20th century in the Philippines. Intertwined with the father's memories and a young girl's adventure is a story that spans many locations and imbues with historical significance the lives of three generation in a time of both serenity and turmoil. As a country, people, and culture experience foreign occupation, paradise discovered and lost, wartime dangers and privation, the age of industry, and migration, we learn how all these things have affected an average Filipino family over a short period of time. As a curious and often fearless youth, Elena seeks out action and curious destinations throughout her province. As she goes about her adventures, she is intrigued by the many people she encounter, and her discoveries reveal how the native people have been transformed. Geographical and historical aspects add a fascinating element to this compelling story. The writer's detailed description of events and the surrounding in which she finds herself put the reader very much in tune with the emotional and physical realities presented. Hope and optimism thrive through times of pains and doubt. These demonstrations fortify the strength of this book and reveal how a family perseveres in the midst of trying and even debilitating circumstances.
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