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Baby Jesus Pawnshop: Book summary and reviews of Baby Jesus Pawnshop by Lucia Orth

Baby Jesus Pawnshop

by Lucia Orth

Baby Jesus Pawnshop by Lucia Orth X
Baby Jesus Pawnshop by Lucia Orth
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  • Published Nov 2008
    288 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

In steamy, corruption-ridden Manila, at the height of Ferdinand Marcos' brutal regime, two unlikely young lovers come together: Rue Caldwell, the wife of an American counter-insurgency specialist and Doming Aquinaldo, a Filipino dissident working under a secret identity as chauffeur for Rue's husband.

Doming is honor-bound to avenge his father's murder, but resists fighting brutality with more violence, choosing instead to be a conduit for information. Rue, who avoids acknowledging the suffering that is veiled by her privileged lifestyle, represents all that Doming despises. However, the more she sees, the more she realizes that her husband and country are on the wrong side in the Philippines' conflict.

As the violence in the country escalates, Rue and Doming find refuge in each other through their loneliness, their awakening conscience and their common experience of betrayal and exile. Doming soon abandons his role as informant embarking on a perilous journey to his rural home in search of a "disappeared" sister as Rue's life becomes more deeply intertwined with the Marcos regime. When an insurgent bomb attack goes horribly awry, government reprisals take the lives of dozens of innocent Filipinos as well as an American journalist who was trying to expose corruption. Doming, realizing that Rue and her husband are at risk of becoming "collateral damage," is now compelled to make a difficult choice or else find the narrow way between his love for Rue, his duty to his country and the wisdom of his heart.

Part political thriller, part love story, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop explores the struggle of two ordinary individuals to lead a moral life when reality defies conventional notions of right and wrong.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Orth vividly evokes the Manila of that era, from the beggars to the superstitious prophecies that substitute for hope, with such sensory details as the sound of a ripe mango hitting the ground ...." - Publishers Weekly.

"A capable, often graceful novel in which the fiction is subservient to and less powerful than the serious political facts." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Orth's first novel excels in its depiction of the cruelty and oppression that defined the Marcos regime in the Philippines in the 1980s ... Highly recommended." - Library Journal.

This information about Baby Jesus Pawnshop was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Lucia Orth

Lucia Orth worked for a non-profit organization in Manila for five years. She's also lived in London, Beijing, and Washington and traveled extensively in the Philippine's Mindinao and northern Cordilleras, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, and most recently in Turkey and Hungary. She grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, graduated from Notre Dame Law School, and currently teaches in the Indigenous and American Indian Studies Department at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.

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