The Body Papers by Grace Talusan

An excerpt from the Goodreads description: Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family.

It’s rare that I read a memoir so quickly, and rare that I’m emotionally affected by the narrator’s life. The Body Papers by Grace Talusan hit both.

The pacing was brisk, the images vivid. Grace Talusan connects us with her story and what it was like to grow up in one of two Filipino families in a small town in Massachusetts. We travel back to the Philippines with Grace when she’s an adult and see the country through her eyes. This book was better and more vivid than any movie.

She also shares her childhood trauma with us in a way that is relatable and poignant.

Recommended. 5/5 stars.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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