"AN OFTEN LYRICAL AND ALWAYS TOUGH-MINDED DEBUT . . . Provides rare insight into the three culturesSpanish, Chinese, and Filipinothat coexist in the Philippines."
The New York Times Book Review
Caridad's mother never writes. So when a letter arrives for her in Sydney from Manila, Caridad doesn't even recognize her mother's handwriting. There is more distance than just miles between the two women. And that is why Caridad is called home. Her mother needs to talk. And to reveal a secret that has been weighing heavily on her for years.
As Caridad hears at last the unspoken stories, and the never forgotten tragedy of the war years, she will learn a startling truth that will change her life forever. For Caridad is not who she thinks she is. . . .
"Beautifully written . . . Reading each chapter is like having a conversation with a close friend."
"A sensitive . . . portrait of a family of Filipina women . . . The novel illuminates much modern Philippine history."
The Boston Globe
About the Author
Arlene J. Chai was born and educated in Manila. In 1982, she migrated to Sydney with her parents and sisters and now lives in Northern Beaches. After more years as an advertising copywriter than she cares to mention, she had a year off during which she wrote The Last Time I Saw Mother. She is at work on a second novel.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from "The Last Time I Saw Mother"
Copyright © 1997 Arlene J. Chai.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
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What People are Saying About This
A remarkable first novel filled with family secrets and the intersection of personal and world histories, pulled through four mesmerizing voices.