Synopses & Reviews
"I was someone hungry for stories; more specifically, I was someone who craved after facts. I was, you see, a person with no history. Lacking this, I developed a curiosity about other's people's stories. . . ."
Clara Perez is a reporter on a small South seas island. An orphan raised by nuns, she is a young woman with origins shrouded in mystery. Full of idealistic ambition, she grows tired of the trivial assignments she's given at the daily paper, yearning to write articles of substance. So when the tiny street of Calle de Leon bursts into flames after a student demonstration--and a soldier kills an unarmed man--Clara seizes the chance to cover the explosive story.
Yet after Clara rushes to the burning street to investigate the tragedy, she discovers another, more personal one involving some remarkable truths about her unknown past--ghosts, she realizes, which have been silently pursuing her all her life. And as family secrets begin to unfold, Clara's missing history slowly spreads itself out on the tumultuous backdrop of a country wracked by revolution. . . .
An evocative and multilayered tale, at once political and personal, Eating Fire and Drinking Water is an extraordinary work, a powerful and pulsing novel of politics and commitment, loyalty and love, and the poignant search for truth.
"A remarkable first novel filled with family secrets and the intersection of personal and world histories, told through four mesmerizing voices." Amy Tan
"An often lyrical and always tough-minded debut....provides rare insights into three cultures Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino that coexist in the Philippines." The New York Times Book Review