Gun Dealers' Daughter

Norton. Jul. 2012. c.224p. ISBN 9780393062946. $24.95. F
Apostol, winner of the Philippine National Book Award, follows her previous novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, with this cultural coming-of-age story. Soledad Soliman, having experienced the highs and lows of life, transforms herself from a bookish, affluent girl to a Communist rebel, fighting with her dedication to the movement and the man she loves. The book is her confession; rich with emotion, reflection, and fervor, the story takes on the added element of revealing the struggles of Filipinos and women. While the narrative is strong, Apostol's writing style—simple, poetic, and captivating at every point of Soledad's journey—is the real draw: "And yet it was soothing…. A lulling, desperate state, but comforting, the way the extreme inactivity forced on us by illness has a morbid, feculent pleasure…there's that sensual garb, this state of malaise."
VERDICT Reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Paradise and Melissa P.'s The Scent of Your Breath, this book will appeal to readers of literary fiction.

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