Book Review: The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven

It’s a Monday where I should be writing especially since the LilDude (who’s not so little anymore; he’s a few inches taller than me already!) wants to take this day off like the summer vacation that it is. No driving him to this class or that. Just a day where he gets to do nothing at all.

Which means I should be writing since I’ve got deadlines galore.

But before I do that, I need to post a few overdue reviews of books I’ve read on Goodreads.

And since I just created a pretty mockup of one of them, I’ll post its review here. No spoilers although I have to warn you that the book as achingly beautiful as it is, dives deep into painful topics.

The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven

I first heard about The Mango Bride on Twitter through Filipina Authors Book Club which holds book club meetings each month. Marivi Soliven was present and it was eye-opening to learn all about how the book came to be and how it’s going to be a movie soon.

The Mango Bride is a story of two women whose lives are intertwined although they don’t know it. And by the time they do, it’s too late. It’s a story about intergenerational trauma, identity, and forgiveness. It’s the loneliness of being exiled to the land of plenty (America) yet wanting nothing more than to return home in so many ways.

A lot of scenes hit really hard, with that been-there-done-that energy that for a moment, I had to check out Soliven’s age which turns out we’re around the same age and so much of the characters’ experiences I’m quite familiar with so in many ways. They brought me back to places and times I didn’t expect to revisit but that’s neither here nor there.

It’s literary fiction at its finest and every sentence Soliven writes is achingly beautiful and poetic I caught myself rereading them just to savor the beauty of the words. Although it was originally published in 2013 by NAL Accents, it’s experiencing a resurgence with the book being turned into a movie produced by megastar Sharon Cuneta.

Book Synopsis:

The Mango Bride
by Marivi Soliven

Two Women, Two Cultures, And The Fight To Find A New Life In America, Despite The Secrets Of The Past…

Banished by her wealthy Filipino family in Manila, Amparo Guerrero travels to Oakland, California, to forge a new life. Although her mother labels her life in exile a diminished one, Amparo believes her struggles are a small price to pay for freedom…

Like Amparo, Beverly Obejas—an impoverished Filipina waitress—forsakes Manila and comes to Oakland as a mail-order bride in search of a better life. Yet even in the land of plenty, Beverly fails to find the happiness and prosperity she envisioned.

As Amparo works to build the immigrant’s dream, she becomes entangled in the chaos of Beverly’s immigrant nightmare. Their unexpected collision forces them both to make terrible choices and confront a life-changing secret, but through it all they hold fast to family, in all its enduring and surprising transformations.

I hope you are all doing well. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and I sure miss it. I’ve just been doing self-care on my end which has often involved having to step away from the business of being an author now and then. For my sanity and my creative flow.

Speaking of creative flow, I need to get at least 1,500 words down on this book so I’m off. Until then, keep reading and stay safe. Ingat palagi.

Published by Liz

Romance me writes stories with happy endings while my naughty pen writes the naughty ones. I also accidentally step on Legos daily while balancing my cup of tea and biscuits.

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