Summary (from Goodreads):
“Two sisters from the Philippines, abandoned by their father and living in impoverished circumstances in Louisiana, fight to make their lives better. For readers of Cynthia Kadohata and Rita Williams-Garcia and anyone searching for the true meaning of family.
Soledad has always been able to escape into the stories she creates. Just like her mother always could. And Soledad has needed that escape more than ever in the five years since her mother and sister died and her father moved Sol and her youngest sister from the Philippines to Louisiana. Then he left, and all Sol and Ming have now is their evil stepmother, Vea. Sol has protected Ming all this time, but then Ming begins to believe that Auntie Jove—their mythical, world-traveling aunt—is really going to come rescue them. Have Sol’s stories done more harm than good? Can she protect Ming from this impossible hope? Erin Entrada Kelly writes with grace, imagination, and deepest heart about the meaning of family and about finding hope in the hardest circumstances.”
This book is seriously amazing. It’s the kind of novel that exudes hope and faith and is essentially destined to become a classic.
I immediately loved Soledad (and her little sister Ming) and I rooted for them to be able to get away from their stepmother somehow. (Even knowing that there’s really no chance, as they are both so young.) I also love the fact that the author chose not to make Vea a caricature of evil; there are glimpses that she’s also been damaged by life.
Everything about this book is note-perfect, and that makes me sad that she’s only written two books. I haven’t read her first novel, Blackbird Fly, yet; I need to change that immediately. Hopefully that will tide me over until a new book is released.