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When the Elephants Dance
When the Elephants Dance | Tess Uriza Holthe
6 posts | 5 read | 17 to read
Papa explains the war like this: When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful. The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and trumpeting loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens. Once in a great while comes a storyteller who can illuminate worlds large and small, in ways both magical and true to life. When the Elephants Dance is set in the waning days of World War II, as the Japanese and the Americans engage in a fierce battle for possession of the Philippine Islands. Through the eyes of three narrators, thirteen-year-old Alejandro Karangalan, his spirited older sister Isabelle, and Domingo, a passionate guerilla commander, we see how ordinary people find hope for survival where none seems to exist. While the Karangalan family and their neighbors huddle together for survival in the cellar of a house, they tell magical stories to one another based on Filipino myth that transport the listeners from the chaos of the war around them and give them new resolve to continue fighting. Outside the safety of their refuge the war rages onfiery bombs torch the countryside, Japanese soldiers round up and interrogate innocent people, and from the hills guerilla fighters wage a desperate campaign against the enemy. Inside the cellar, these men, women, and children put their hopes and dreams on hold as they wait out the war. This stunning debut novel celebrates with richness and depth the spirit of the Filipino people and their fascinating story and marks the introduction of an author who will join the ranks of writers such as Arundhati Roy, Manil Suri, and Amy Tan. From the Hardcover edition.
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review
Currey
When the Elephants Dance | Tess Uriza Holthe
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Mehso-so

#readaroundtheworld #Philippines An ambitious book that has many narrators and which attempts to incorporate Philippine supernatural tales with a story about fighting for one‘s life during WWII. She was able to convey a right cultural heritage and the horror of having 2 superpowers fighting over one‘s country but the parts do not come together to make a solid book. Nevertheless, I learned a lot about Philippine history and culture.

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EmilyM
When the Elephants Dance | Tess Uriza Holthe
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 Storytelling at its finest! The frame is of several families hiding from the Japanese in the Philippines during the war for occupency of the country. As the families wait amid the bombs and shooting, scrounging for food, each character tells a story of their past in which they learned the imprtance of love, relationships, and family. These become stories within the frame story. I couldn't put this one down. (The book is not about 🐘...)

7 likes2 stack adds
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LinaLovesLit
When the Elephants Dance | Tess Uriza Holthe
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Jas16
When the Elephants Dance | Tess Uriza Holthe
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Set during the occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese during WWII, this book is about people in a cellar telling stories to pass the time but also to remind each other of their culture and and boost their feelings of hope and courage. #setinsoutheastasia #aprilbookshowers

49 likes3 stack adds
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Godmotherx5
When the Elephants Dance | Tess Uriza Holthe
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I have been in the Philippines during the months of January, March & June. A warm climate every business trip. #funfridayphoto @Liberty

40 likes1 stack add
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Godmotherx5
When the Elephants Dance | Tess Uriza Holthe
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As a family hides in the basement during WWII, it is interesting to learn Filipino folktales. I would not have read this has it not been for the Read Harder Challenge this year. #booksetinasia #somethingforsept @RealLifeReading @TheSpinecrackersBookClub @bookriot

28 likes6 stack adds