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Poet Bobis serves up compassion and tenderness in generous portions in her fiction debut. Twelve-year-old Nenita is the first of six children born to her destitute parents in a Filipino village. Hungry and abused by her overwhelmed mother, Nenita drops out of school one summer in the hopes of earning enough money to support the growing family. Hired as the house girl of her well-to-do neighbors, the Valenzuelas, she befriends her mistress, the beautiful Señorita VV. The entire village experiences profound change during that sweltering summer, mirroring Nenita's coming-of-age. Nenita's passion for food sustains her through difficulties of all sorts, and she relishes each morsel and taste as a treasured gift, even as she faces continued difficulty. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.