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When the Rainbow Goddess Wept (Ann Arbor…

When the Rainbow Goddess Wept (Ann Arbor Paperbacks)

by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

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684257,489 (3.86)12



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When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the story of a Filipino family during the invasion of their country by the Japanese during World War II. The story is narrated by Yvonne, a lively nine year old in 1940, happily living in her family compound. Her father is an American trained engineer and is very valuable to the guerrilla movement and is often called away on mysterious errands. She and her mother, along with a few of the household servants move ever deeper into the jungle, fleeing from the Japanese, but never forgetting the loved ones that they leave behind.

This lively young girl is witness to a number of horrific events. She sees her mother’s health slipping away and lives through the fear of having her father fall into the hands of the Japanese. She is enriched by the Philippine folktales that are passed on to her through the family cook.

When The Rainbow Goddess Wept deals with the psychological damage that war wreaks through the events that happen within this small family. Yvonne refuses to give up hope and learns how to cope with the uncertainties that come their way. With this young girl, the author has created a sensitive and intelligent recorder, one who sees what is happening and, even though she doesn’t always understand, is able to paint a vivid picture of endurance and survival. This is an excellent story that highlights how war can bring out both the best and worst in people ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jan 4, 2019 |

Narrated by Yvonne, a Filipina girl, this novel blends local legends and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, heightening their parallels (and those of the legends and the plot) in a slightly folkloric, slightly magical realistic blend. I enjoyed the narrator's voice and found the story easy to follow and poignant. Read with Davenport's [b:Song of the Exile|281573|Exile's Song (Darkover, Book 25)|Marion Zimmer Bradley|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1173388891s/281573.jpg|3095906], Stephenson's [b:Cryptonomicon|816|Cryptonomicon|Neal Stephenson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1157396454s/816.jpg|1166797], and Kim's [b:Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood|210469|Lost Names Scenes from a Korean Boyhood|Richard E. Kim|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172720297s/210469.jpg|203711] for a broader fictional representation of the effects of Japanese expansionism from World War II through the Korean War. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
  asianamlitfans | Nov 25, 2011 |
This is a very good book that should be better known, I think. It's a coming of age story told through the eyes of a 9-year old girl growing up in the Philippines whose life is shattered by the onset of WW Two and the Japanese invasion of the country. Her family literally heads for the hills so that her father, an American-educated engineer sure to be targeted by the invaders, can join and help lead the guerrilla resistance forces. Mixed into this tale (and the story does not spare the horrors of war) are many Filipino folk tales, as told to the narrator (and then recounted by her) by the family's old retainer, who learned them at the feet of an old folk master.

The novel relates the ways in which the narrator relies upon these old tales of her people's past to retain her sanity and her hope for the future through sadness, horror and death. This is a beautifully told tale. ( )
1 vote rocketjk | May 29, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
In simple yet 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 the U.S. is capable of betraying them - and that Philippine independence is a necessity. The strengthening of the national spirit; the loss of innonence in two generations - these themes are explored by the author, who was born in the Philippines, with persuasive conviction and stark realizm.
added by apalh | editPublishers' Weekly (Aug 16, 1994)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0472086375, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A small girl recounts the World War II Japanese occupation of the Philippines. She is Yvonne Macaraig, 9, daughter of an engineer who flees with his family into the mountains to join the resistance. Interspersed with the action are mythical tales on women fighters. A first novel.… (more)

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