America Is Not the Heart

America Is Not the Heart

Three generations of women from one immigrant family trying to reconcile the home they left behind with the life they're building in America. 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 st Three generations of women from one immigrant family trying to reconcile the home they left behind with the life they...

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Title:America Is Not the Heart
Author:Elaine Castillo
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:073522241X
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:408 pages pages

America Is Not the Heart Reviews

  • Ellen
    May 20, 2018
    Four to even 4.5 stars overall, in its own way. This was a challenging book for me, with many words and phrases left untranslated, and not much plot driving the story forward. But, despite all that I really liked the author?s style, the characters, and the great deal of knowledge I ...
  • Adam
    Apr 04, 2018
    This book! What a triumph. It was a bit too long but I never wanted it to end. The prologue, Ga-li-la, is exceptionally powerful...it makes you want to stay with Paz, but we spend most of the novel with Hero, who is a little inscrutable....Roni, however, is the most lively, realistic c...
  • Mainlinebooker
    Apr 08, 2018
    For fans of third world literature, you might want to dive into this novel for there seems to be a void of Filipino novels. It opened up a world that I was not familiar with as it broached the immigrant experience, the horrors of insurgencies and conflict, familial ties, and also lesbi...
  • Valerie Best
    May 08, 2018
    Okay, bear with me?which, by the way, would have been an appropriate subtitle for this book. So, I liked this book. Sometimes an awful lot. There were moments in this book that took my breath away. It?s writing is great, and got me excited about a kind of writing that I haven?...
  • Trish
    May 03, 2018
    Personally, this book has qualities that make this an intimidating read: - It?s been described as an ?epic family saga? (too many characters) - It?s 400+ pages (too many words) - There are shifts in time periods and POVs (too confusing) None of this mattered to me when I ...
  • Theresa
    May 09, 2018
    The thing about growing up Filipino in America, and especially growing up Filipino in a heavily white area, and especially growing up Filipino in a family that doesn?t fully see you as Filipino and allow you access to your culture or a right to your heritage or the freedom to define ...
  • Terry
    May 30, 2018
    Here?s a review that will tell you something about the book: https://www.theguardian.com/books/201.... Here?s what a novel in which the central character is named Hero made me think about. What are we to make of Hero, herself, with a name like that, if anything more than what we...
  • Candace
    Mar 03, 2018
    Set in the unglamorous cities of San Francisco's East Bay, "America Is Not The Heart" follows Filipino immigrants as they dig in and take their place in their new country. It's the 1980s, and Paz uses her training as a nurse to leverage an escape from the poor rural Philippines. Her su...
  • Jade
    May 16, 2018
    About 20 pages in I realized that I know barely anything about the Philippines apart from some random dishes, and some political crises over the years!! I worked for a translation company for years and assumed that Tagalog was the main language and never looked further than that. I fee...
  • Linda Robinson
    Apr 13, 2018
    Strongest female writing voice I've read in a very long time. Powerful, sonic boom writing. I was lucky to read this in one day - underslept but engaged throughout, so I had no chance to lose track of an excellent storytelling session. It's not an easy read. Castillo doesn't use quotat...
  • Nick Klagge
    May 02, 2018
    No, this book is not by my wife, just by her shadow twin! A really awesome debut novel. I liked almost everything about it. The story is about Hero (short for Geronima), a Filipino woman who comes to Milpitas, CA, as an undocumented immigrant in the late '80s/early '90s. The title i...
  • Elise
    May 28, 2018
    There's a lot one can say about what makes this novel powerful. For example: the way the complex political history of the Philippines unfolds alongside a more contemporary setting; or how the characters, spanning three generations, relate with one another in surprising and often heartb...
  • Anna
    Feb 08, 2018
    I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A poignant story about sacrificing for you family and losing yourself and them in the process. Specifically focuses on 3 women but the cast encompasses the entire extended families. In many ways, an immigrant/ moth...
  • Emily May
    Jan 10, 2018
    Baggage means no matter how far you go, no matter how many times you immigrate, there are countries in you you?ll never leave. There's only one slightly disappointing thing about this book-- that the prologue introduces us to Paz and her compelling story, which completely drew me ...
  • Katherine
    Jun 15, 2018
    America Is Not the Heart centers on a community of Filipinos living in Milpitas, CA in the late 80s. While the prologue introduces Paz and her brief backstory, she recedes to a secondary character as Hero arrives in CA to live with Paz, her husband Pol, who is Hero's uncle, and their d...
  • Barbara VanDenburgh
    May 24, 2018
    "So you're a girl and you're poor, the worst combination, but at least you're light-skinned - that'll save you." Now that's just a great first line. "America Is Not the Heart" is a book outside my comfort zone in many ways. It's a multi-generational immigrant family saga that begins...
  • Jacqueline
    May 23, 2018
    3.5 stars. For some reason, lately some of the books I've been reading, especially the long ones, haven't been extremely enjoyable, and yet I feel a sense of sadness when it's over. Though I felt like this book was way too long when I was reading it, I felt a little empty and sad when ...
  • Erin Glover
    May 13, 2018
    Fascinating for its depiction of Filipino immigrants? lives in northern California, a refreshing immigrant perspective, sadly, the story falls gracelessly flat. Initially sucked in by Paz?s depiction of life in the Philippines as a poor young girl ignored by her family during marti...
  • Laura
    Jan 12, 2018
    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 lives of Paz, Hero and Roni. There is a whole host of supporting characters: Pol, Rosalyn, Adela and Jamie to name a few, who really help...
  • Gwynne
    May 18, 2018
    I've read hundreds of books, but this is the first time I've ever read a book with characters that more or less represented who I am -- not just the basic Filipino, but a Pangasinense. ...
  • Jaclyn
    Jun 01, 2018
    Elaine Castillo is a fresh and welcome new voice to Filipino immigrant fiction. I loved the Filipino touches throughout the story -- the sprinkling of Tagalog and Ilocano, the obsession with pancit and Pinoy-style BBQ, and all the talk about faith healing and the power of brujas to hea...
  • Stephanie
    May 25, 2018
    In her acknowledgements at the end of "America is Not the Heart," 33-year-old author Elaine Castillo writes, "in terms of utang na loop , this one's last but definitely not least: To the Bay and in particular the 408." To the very end, then, this talented, first-generational Filipin...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    Mar 13, 2018
    I?m so conflicted about this book! After reading Mia Alver?s IN THE COUNTRY a few years ago I?ve been wanting to read more fiction about the Filipino diaspora so was thrilled to hear about AMERICA IS NOT THE HEART. The prologue pulled me in immediately and I ate it up. But I over...
  • Andy Lillich
    Apr 27, 2018
    I want to admit, right up-front, that it took me awhile to really connect with this story. After all, what did I know about the Philipines? Absolutely nothing. Which meant that much of what I read in the beautifully told prologue and even the first several sections of Hero's story, fel...
  • Susan de Gracia
    Jun 05, 2018
    I've been struggling with what to say in a review of this book since I read it. Castillo writes about a group of immigrants (Filipinos) that, in the main, have been largely neglected in current fiction. I found it very personal as I am of Filipino and European ancestry, although I was ...
  • Rory Dela
    May 05, 2018
    "So you're a girl and you're poor, but at least you're light skinned - that'll save you." - An opening sentence that might as well have described my mom. A very well written book that smacks of familiarity for those of us who grew up under Marcos' Martial Law and managed to immigrate t...
  • Thor Balanon
    May 03, 2018
    "You've been foreign all your life. When you finally leave, all you're hoping for is a more bearable kind of foreignness." ?America is Not the Heart is our collective longing: a mixtape of our youth, a recipe of our cravings, a scar, a reminder. An ache. (Thanks, Bennard @bcfajardo ...
  • Kevin Hu
    Mar 12, 2018
    AINTH takes you down a narrative course that is subversive at every corner. In Geronimo's young life, she has already seen life in the Philippines from the countryside of Pangasinan, from the mountains of Baguio where she was slowly radicalized and inducted in the New People's Army...
  • Rhi
    May 12, 2018
    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 em...
  • Andrea Lechner-Becker
    May 21, 2018
    Slightly different version posted here: http://andrealechnerbecker.com/book-r... This story is about Hero, a woman in her early thirties, who, given the genre will better understand herself throughout the novel. Ms. Castillo?s writing is so crushingly beautiful and annoyingly eff...