America Is Not the Heart

America Is Not the Heart Review

Three generations of women from one immigrant family trying to reconcile the home they left behind with the life they're building in America.

How many lives can one person lead in a single lifetime? When Hero de Vera arrives in America, disowned by her parents in the Philippines, she's already on her third. Her uncle, Pol, who has offered her a fresh start and a place to stay in the Bay Area, knows not to ask about her past. And his younger wife, Paz, has learned enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. Only their daughter Roni asks Hero why her hands seem to constantly ache.

Illuminating the violent political history of the Philippines in the 1980s and 1990s and the insular immigrant communities that spring up in the suburban United States with an uncanny ear for the unspoken intimacies and pain that get buried by the duties of everyday life and family ritual, Castillo delivers a powerful, increasingly relevant novel about the promise of the American dream and the unshakable power of the past. In a voice as immediate and startling as those of Junot Diaz and NoViolet Bulawayo, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful telenovela of a debut novel. With exuberance, muscularity, and tenderness, here is a family saga; an origin story; a romance; a narrative of two nations and the people who leave home to grasp at another, sometimes turning back.

Title:America Is Not the Heart
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Emily May

    Baggage means no matter how far you go, no matter how many times you immigrate, there are countries in you you’ll never leave. There's only one slightly disappointing thing about this book-- that t...

  • Jaclyn Crupi

    I’m so conflicted about this book! After reading Mia Alver’s IN THE COUNTRY a few years ago I’ve been wanting to read more fiction about the Filipino diaspora so was thrilled to hear about AMERI...

  • Candace

    Set in the unglamorous cities of San Francisco's East Bay, "America Is Not The Heart" follows Filipino immigrants as they dig in and take their place in their new country. It's the 1980s, and Paz uses...

  • Valerie Best

    Okay, bear with me—which, by the way, would have been an appropriate subtitle for this book.So, I liked this book. Sometimes an awful lot. There were moments in this book that took my breath away. I...

  • Erin Glover

    Fascinating for its depiction of Filipino immigrants’ lives in northern California, a refreshing immigrant perspective, sadly, the story falls gracelessly flat. Initially sucked in by Paz’s depict...

  • Andy Lillich

    I want to admit, right up-front, that it took me awhile to really connect with this story. After all, what did I know about the Philipines? Absolutely nothing. Which meant that much of what I read in ...

  • Adam

    This book! What a triumph. It was a bit too long but I never wanted it to end. The prologue, Ga-li-la, is exceptionally powerful...it makes you want to stay with Paz, but we spend most of the novel wi...

  • Thor Balanon

    "You've been foreign all your life. When you finally leave, all you're hoping for is a more bearable kind of foreignness." 🔹America is Not the Heart is our collective longing: a mixtape of our yout...

  • Kevin Hu

    AINTH takes you down a narrative course that is subversive at every corner. In Geronimo's young life, she has already seen life in the Philippines from the countryside of Pangasinan, from the mountain...

  • Nick Klagge

    No, this book is not by my wife, just by her shadow twin!A really awesome debut novel. I liked almost everything about it. The story is about Hero (short for Geronima), a Filipino woman who comes to M...