When the Elephants Dance

A Novel

Holthe, Tess Uriza

(Book - 2002)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
When the Elephants Dance
"Set in the waning days of World War II, as the Japanese and the Americans engage in a fierce battle for possession of the Philippine Islands. The Karangalan fmaily and their neighbors huddle for survival in the cellar of a house a few miles from Manila." -- Jacket.
Publisher: New York : Crown, c2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0609609521
Branch Call Number: FICTION HOLTHE
Characteristics: xi, 368 p. :,map ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

To fuel their courage and sustain their hope while holed up in a basement as U.S. forces advance on Manila, the Karangalans and their neighbors spend time telling magical tales based on Filipino myth and legend tales that teach important lessons about life, love, and responsibility.

After nearly three years of violent Japanese occupation, the Karangalans and several of their neighbors, including the wife of a famous guerrilla commander, are holed up in the basement of their house as U.S. forces advance on Manila during the final days of WWII. To fuel their courage and sustai... Read More »

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Feb 15, 2014
  • texasbooks rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I didnt like this book at all, but maybe someone else will like it.

Jul 22, 2013
  • kcv523 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Read this when it first came out, and again just now, 10 years later, and I still love it. It's beautiful and tragic all at the same time.

Jun 01, 2012
  • telger rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

It's a good read- I like how Holthe intentionally included the Filipino culture all over the book.
Although one minor comment if I may are a few misspelled Filipino expressions, terms and names - and should be tolerated as Holthe was not born in the Philippines.
Over all it was a very good Filipiniana book!
Mabuhay & Salamat Ginang Holthe (Long live, thank you Mrs. Holthe)

Jan 15, 2012
  • kaliko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A beautiful, sweeping novel that captures various sides of Philippine history and folklore. The story is told through the harrowing experiences of those struggling to survive the Japanese invasion. Holthe places her readers in their desperate situation, clinging to the last bits of family and home while death surrounds them. Despite the hardship, the characters share stories of their pasts that turn into 5 short stories in the novel. The short stories are richly filled with colour and fantastical imagery. Even though one may not want to be distracted from the main story into a side story, Holthe finds creative ways to keep one flowing to the other, leaving the most exciting side stories for last. In the end, the reader knows far more about all of the characters than they would have in a more traditional novel format, and all of the stories together combine at least a century of experience for the Filipino residents of Bulacan. As a Canadian-Filipino who grew up in Canada, this was an exciting and wholly different read -- a magnificent outlet to the culture of my distant people, something I would have not known of so clearly without an author like Holthe. To the everyday reader, this will be another historical drama that will grip you and give you characters to love.


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Jan 15, 2012
  • kaliko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

kaliko thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Jan 15, 2012
  • kaliko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Papa says that the Philippines is far, far behind the other countries. He says that we are like abused children who have never been allowed to grow. How can we stand together when so much division has been created between us?"


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app14 Version musli Last updated 2015/02/24 14:10