Thirteen-year-old Andi lives in London. Bernardo, her sixteen-year-old half-brother, lives in the Philippines. But he has finally received his immigration papers and is moving in with Andi and her parents. The two siblings could not be more different. Andi is short and basketball-crazy. She's good at it too, better than the boys even. And she is outspoken. Bernardo, on the other hand, is taller than tall. He can barely walk down a flight of stairs without tripping and falling. And he is quiet. The list goes on and on. But in a poignant scene about three-quarters of the way through Tall Story
, after Bernardo has come from the Philippines to live in London, Andi truly looks at him for the first time and sees that she and her brother are maybe not so different after all: "I realized with a start that our eyes were the same colour - hazelly, browny, with a sunburst of...
Beyond the Book
Perhaps Candy Gourlay writes about dismantling the walls between people because she has chosen to scale them, push on them, and break them down for herself.
Candy tells a story about leaving Manila, where she spent much of her childhood, to live in England. Her two youngest brothers (she is one of six siblings) were just little guys at the time. When she returned for a visit a year later, one of those "little guys" opened the door and she didn't even recognize him and couldn't believe how much he had grown. She meant that he was so much taller and older. But she also meant, I believe, that she had grown
during that year away. She had crossed a continent, had crossed cultures, had leapt over that wall.
Born in the city of Davao, in the Philippines,...