Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Book Review: Sugar and Salt by Ninotchka Rosca

This is a book of so few pages. It is, however, so heavy to carry around. Oh, so heavy.

It is but a simple story, a fable. It is of so few words, but it is of so much thought.

It deals with a history of a people, a people whose identity seems quite vague, but an identity that is carried through a lineage (?) of a chosen few (of the few who chose -- and who seem to dwindle with each generation). It talks about the Filipino.

It also, interestingly enough, deals with sugar and salt, both of which have had their parts in shaping the Filipino consciousness and culture. It's amazing how the stories of old have been summarized here in such an artistic and heartfelt, heart-wrenching way. (While reading this, I felt like I was watching a very artsy movie.)

Special care has been taken to put woman in the middle of it all. As if it's her place? As if it's her place.

I don't think I have the words to explain this. It's too moving, too mysterious for me to convey my feeling about it. (I have let others read this as well, and they too can't seem to define exactly how they felt after reading this - except that it's "wonderful".) As a Filipino, I was most touched. As a reader, I was most astounded. This will stay with me for a long, long time.

Sugar & Salt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review first written June 4, 2012.


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