When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
When the Rainbow Goddess Wept

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept

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by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
     
 

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Set against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard's brilliant novel weaves myth and legend together with the suffering and tragedies of the Filipino people. When nine-year-old Yvonne flees with her family into the jungle to join the resistance effort, she witnesses death and destruction on an almost

Overview


Set against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard's brilliant novel weaves myth and legend together with the suffering and tragedies of the Filipino people. When nine-year-old Yvonne flees with her family into the jungle to join the resistance effort, she witnesses death and destruction on an almost unimaginable scale.

In the face of terror and despair, she finds comfort in the stories her people have passed down over generations. In particular, the legends of Bongkatolan, the Woman Warrior, and the merciful rainbow goddess offer her strength and hope. Yvonne becomes determined to preserve these ancient legends and to give voice to the epic she herself is living.

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept is an exploration of the collective wounding of the Filipino people and their heroic response. It shows us the Philippines through an insider's eyes and brings to American audiences an unusual reading experience about a world that is utterly foreign and a child who is touchingly universal.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard was born in Cebu City, Philippines. Her published works include Woman with Horns and Other Stories and Philippine Woman in America. She is also the editor of the anthology Fiction by Filipinos in America and teaches creative writing at the Writers' Program of UCLA Extension.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Yvonne Macaraig is an exuberant and mischievous nine-year-old when the Japanese invade her Philippine homeland in 1941, and so she begins her grim story of endurance and survival with a spirit of adventure and optimism. Her father, Nando, an American-trained engineer who's invaluable to the guerrilla movement, is often called away as Yvonne, her mother and a small family entourage flee toward presumed safety ever deeper in the jungle. Yvonne witnesses scenes of incredible carnage and silently notes the slow decline in her mother's health, but her spirits are buoyed by the Philippine folktales narrated to her by the family cook. These myths and legends, violent and colorful, extol the gallantry of ancient warrior kings or show the triumph of love and valor over subjugation. In simple yet deeply moving prose, Brainard's first novel presents similar acts of monumental courage: a doctor's sacrifice in the jungle; quiet defiance against terrorist threats. Gradually, Nando and his companions become aware that the U.S. is capable of betraying them-and that Philippine independence is a necessity. The strengthening of the national spirit; the loss of innocence in two generations-these themes are explored by the author, who was born in the Philippines, with persuasive conviction and stark realism. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Pedestrian and simplistic writing dulls the impact of this potentially moving autobiographical first novel, set during Japanese occupation of the Philippines (1941-44). Nine-year-old Yvonne, whose father has joined the resistance movement, tells the story of her family's flight from their upper-class home in Udec to a guerrilla camp in the jungles. Unfortunately, Yvonne's voice fluctuates between that of a younger and that of a much older narrator. In addition, Brainard's characters are not well rounded, so it's hard to become involved in the horrors of Japanese violence and butchery that are visited upon them. The best parts of the novel are the Filipino myths and legends woven into the historical account of a part of World War II that is generally unfamiliar to American readers. Libraries with large Asian fiction collections may want to purchase.-Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472086375
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
10/15/1999
Series:
Ann Arbor Paperbacks
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
319,605
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

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When the Rainbow Goddess Wept 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me by my cousin, who had to read it for school. Having had bad experiences with school-assigned books, I hesitated to read it at first. But when I picked it up, I could not put it down again. When The Rainbow Goddess Wept was a wonderfully written book about war and its effects on families. It is told from the perspective of a child, an interesting outlook on the horrors of war and, in my opinion, a better outlook than that of an adult. Although the book can be very intense sometimes graphic, it is also truthful and worth reading. I highly recommend it to anyone.