When The Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe

When The Elephants Dance

“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.  I think of baby chicks I can hold in the palm of my hand, flapping wings that are not yet grown, and I am frightened.”

When the Elephants Dance is a perfect blend of two topics I really enjoy:  first, it is a novel set during World War II, and second, it takes the reader to a different country, with a completely different cultural feel than our own.

The author created this story based on war stories her father and other contemporaries of that generation related to her.  Those experiences of helplessness and desperation come alive as Holthe weaves a tale from the perspective of the Filipino.  Throughout much of the novel, the main characters are hiding in a cellar, in order to escape the carnage that is being waged above them.  At various times, some must venture out in order to search for food, and when those brave souls do not return, others go out in search of them.  During the long wait, some of the older refugees share stories of the past and the present, much of it steeped in mysticism and all of it rich in the culture they share.  It is a fascinating look into the history of this nation and the people who live there.

4 stars (out of 5)
368 pages
Published in 2002

Advertisements

About Suzanne

I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids who loves to read.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s