Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.
Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth -- and the part he played in it.
As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.
~ My Review ~
This was such a lovely and refreshing read. It had enough intrigue to keep you turning pages and witticism and criticism of life in general that made you think.
As for me, it was love letter home. I was born in the Philippines but moved to the states when I was 9. I've only been back once but I can picture every single person, know movements, hear the beeps of jeepneys, smell the fish markets and everything in between that Ribay wrote. It made me terribly self aware that I know next to nothing about Philippine history, so I was completely immersed in Jay, the main character. I wanted him to find answers. I wanted him to soak up every single moment he spent in the motherland, so I could pretend I was right there next to him. I winced at his uncle's words because I know family like that. I can feel both pride and shame emitting out of his uncle and I understood exactly why it's not Jay's place....it's not mine to comment either. I only see through my American eyes....even if some days, I am reminded that I am not American enough.
This was a poetic read and I couldn't put it down!
About the Author
Randy Ribay was born in the Philippines and raised in the Midwest. A graduate of the University of Colorado and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ribay taught English on the East Coast for a decade but now teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit his website at randyribay.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @randyribay.