Holthe, Tess Uriza. When the elephants dance, a novel.

Author:Lewis, Courtney
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

Penguin. 368p. c2002. 0-14-200288-7. $14.00. SA

"When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful." Using this Filipino saying, the Karangalan family patriarch describes the Philippine Islands at the end of WW II as the Japanese and U.S. forces battle for control of the islands. As they hide with neighbors in the basement of their home, the narrative of the book shifts between the members of the Karangalan family--the young son tortured by the Japanese for information, the teenage daughter who wants to become a doctor, and the father desperate for his family's survival--and their friends as they relate their experience of the present and hear the stories of the past from one another. The role of religion, both the Catholic tradition and the belief in the supernatural that lives alongside it, is shown both as a...

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