Happy Friday Eve! I am happy to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for a beautifully written debut novel, A Hundred Silent Ways by Mari Jojie. Accompanying my review are three recipes that pair well with the reading.
How do you trust and let yourself be comforted by the idea that the sun and the moon give out equal brilliance?
the brink of a crumbling marriage, Kate Pineda-McDowell runs away from
the only life she has ever known—straight into the heart of the
Philippines where her estranged father lives. As she waits for her
connecting flight from Tokyo to Manila, she meets Liam Walker, whose
disquieting stares express deeper things than his reluctant words.
Unbeknownst to both, their chance meeting circles back to a closely
linked past that holds little hope for new beginnings.
after arriving in Manila, Kate finds herself drawn to seek out Liam. In
a span of a few magical days, what began as a spark ignites into an
electric affair that compels Liam to let someone into his silent world
while Kate confronts her heartbreaking sorrows. But falling for each
other means opening old wounds and revealing their most intimate
Emotionally gripping and endearingly hopeful, A Hundred Silent Ways examines
the many different paths people take to obtain a second chance at
happiness while asking the most heartrending question of all: How much are we willing to endure to keep love alive?
Publisher: River Grove Books
Paperback: 246 pages
So happenstance, in a time when I have tried to stay away from "sad" books, I found myself reading two books centered around loss and grief, A Hundred Silent Ways by Mari Jojie and Crying in H-Mart by Michelle Zauner at same time. I was trying to finish this book for my review and was on a "skip-the-line" week-long library loan for H-Mart and both were too engrossing and well-written to give up on. That means I am going to need to read a couple of murder-mysteries or cozies this weekend to recover for my emotional state. But I digress... I am here to talk about A Hundred Silent Ways which is surprisingly, for the author's skilled story telling and beautiful prose, a debut novel.
Kate is recovering from the loss of her son and a request from her husband for a divorce by running away to visit her estranged father in the Philippines. Having kept herself distant from him when her parents marriage dissolved, she hopes to escape her broken heart by rebuliding their relationship. On the way via a delay at the Tokyo airport, she meets Liam, a deaf man and spends time with him as they both wait for flights to Manila. When things don't go as planned with her father, Kate seeks out Liam again and they begin an affair. There are secrets, twists and coincidences woven into the story that I won't spoil for future readers but this quiet little book touched my heart. It's made me sad at points but there is hope and love in the pages and a chance for both Kate and Liam to move beyond grief and find a new path. I loved the visit to the Tokyo airport--having been stuck there a time or two myself (no Liams, sadly) and the time in Manila, Makati, and the Philippines, again places I visited myself for work many years ago. The author seems to be a foodie which I enjoyed and wove in clever chapter titles and book references throughout. It's a short 246 pages that flowed well and kept me turning the pages. Overall, a poignant read but a hopeful and good one.
Author Notes: Mari Jojie was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. It was home for half of her life. Married to a retired US Navy senior chief, she is grateful to have experienced living in other parts of the world, including these two very contrasting cities—the historic and authentic Napoli, and the forward-thinking and innovative Dubai. Currently, she resides in Oxnard, California, with her husband, daughter, and son.
A Hundred Silent Ways is her debut novel. And was for several years, just an imagined courage beyond her wishful thinking.
What should you eat after reading it? Maybe one of these recipes?
Kate enjoys Shoe Ramen in the Tokyo airpot, try this Slightly Spicy (Vegan) Peanut Ramen Soup with Mushrooms and Veggies:
Kate's mother makes a vinegary adobo as comfort food. Back when I ate meat regularly, I made this Beef Adobo Salpicao and Garlic Fried Jasmine Rice: (Excuse the photo--it was from my first year in blogging in 2008)
Kate learns to bake/works at a bakery with cupcakes and muffins. Try these Banana Bread Muffins with Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar:
review copy of "A Hundred Silent Ways" was provided to me by the author
and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this
review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and learn what other reviewers thought about the book below.
Review Tour Stops: