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A Light in the Cane Fields

4.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  29 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Top Semi finalist, 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Manuscript Review from Publishers Weekly

"This coming-of-age story chronicling a Filipino boy's wrenching passage from son of privilege to guerilla fighter is a stylistic tour-de-force. From its first lines, the saga of Jando Flores seizes readers with the same chilling intensity as the cold water that wraps around Jan
Kindle Edition, 404 pages
Published April 12th 2013 by Blue Owl Editions
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Top Semi finalist, 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Kindle Edition: Published April 12th 2013

This is one of the best books I have read in a very long time!
When it was finished my first thought after reading "The End" was: "what an unbelievably, incredible, amazing story!"

Jando, a twelve-year-old child is the narrator, lying in a 'spider-hole' introducing himself as a boy-soldier - those kids "too tough to be real children, too young to be real men".

The riveting, evocutive tale starts with
Lauren Scharhag
Jun 13, 2013 Lauren Scharhag rated it it was amazing
Overall, I found this to be a richly evocative and thoroughly satisfying read. The author brings the melting pot of mid-20th century Philippines to vivid, breathing life-- farms, jungles, mountains, towns, and cities. Antiporda is equally at home in sugar plantations and neon-lit Olangapo.

Being of mixed heritage myself, (Mexican and German), Jando’s Latinized family and neighbors were very relatable to me, and I was particularly intrigued to read of a place with such a blend of cultures: native
J.C. Wing
Aug 15, 2013 J.C. Wing rated it it was amazing
I was not surprised to learn that Antiporda’s A Light in the Cane Fields was a semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in 2008, nor was I surprised to read that a book review from Publisher’s Weekly called it “a stylistic tour-de-force”. After reading this very impressive and powerful novel, I would be more astonished to find a negative viewpoint about either Antiporda’s haunting storyline or his lyrical writing style. Both are truly captivating.

The story opens after much turmoil
Nicolas Wilson
May 12, 2013 Nicolas Wilson rated it it was amazing
A few rough sentences, and scenes that end abruptly early, but very well written, well edited, and a compelling story. The prose is, for the most part, very flowing and evocative. At times, it seems almost at odds with the darkness of Jando's world. I noticed a few minor flaws, a missing word here or there, or a mechanism that was not extended evenly throughout the text (Why didn't the guerillas rename Tio Mario, as they renamed Jando, and renamed all of their own?)

There were a few aspects of th
Jul 23, 2014 Bruce rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest, nonreciprocal review.

I don’t need to go into the details of the story, since the other reviews and the book description have already alluded to this. What I will go into is how I feel the story is put together.

The first, and I feel strongest part of the story is Jando himself. He is a well-written character. I appreciate this being told in first person, as it allows me to see through his eyes and experience some of his emotions. Jando com
Brenda Ayala
Aug 20, 2013 Brenda Ayala rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-4-review
Tanaya and I never speak of those days anymore, those days of orchards and butterflies, of summer rains and typhoon clouds. The memories still haunt us, but they are faded now, like the pages of an old manuscript left out in the sun.

A Light in the Cane Fields is ultimately a story about heart and perseverance. A look into the darker aspects of Philippine history, it strove to show how sides in a war aren't always so cut and dry. Jando is thrust into a world where brutality and discipline is t
Jun 23, 2013 Meghan rated it it was amazing
Wow! Upon finishing the book, that's really all I can think about it. I've actually sat here for the last 15 minutes just thinking about it, letting the whole story hit me, trying to decide how best to describe this book.

I'll start first by being completely honest with you - I got this book for free because I promised Enrico that I would write a review. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The description sounded really interesting, but I was a little iffy because the genre and setting
May 31, 2013 Robert rated it it was amazing
A gripping story about a young boy caught in the guerilla fighting of the Philippines prior to the revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The book tells, in heart-wrenching detail, of the savage murders of the time, and the revolutionaries’ equally savage response to them. The reader is quickly drawn in, caring deeply about young Jando, his family, and those he grows close to as necessity dictates.
The book is exceptionally well-written; the descriptions are so vivid that the reader i
R.J. Askew
May 13, 2014 R.J. Askew rated it it was amazing
When I got to the end of A Light in the Cane Fields I felt sad - sad that the read was over, that I'd finished the book.

The book put it's arm round my shoulder from the outset and made me its friend.

We can't stay with a book forever, but a book can stay in us forever. And A Light in the Cane Fields will always be in me from now on.


Because it is a moving story expertly and at times beautifully written.

Set in the Philippines during a violent time in the its history, the story is as much set in
Sep 16, 2013 Aurora rated it really liked it
Name of Book: A Light in the Cane Fields

Author: Enrico Antiporda

ISBN: 9781434881557

Publisher: Createspace

Type of book: Phillipines, History, 1960s, guerilla, politics, Asia, tropics, sibling reationship, wealth, secrets

Year it was published: 2013


Top Semi finalist, 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Manuscript Review from Publisher's Weekly

"This coming-of-age story chronicling a Filipino boy's wrenching passage from son of privilege to guerilla fighter is a stylistic tour-de-force. From
Gabriel Boutros
Apr 27, 2013 Gabriel Boutros rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book to review. The story begins with a 13 year old boy hiding in a shallow hole in the middle of the jungle, a rifle gripped tightly to his chest. His name is Jando Flores, and he has become a child soldier in the revolution against former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. A Light in the Cane Fields is his story, a moving tale of this young boy who witnesses his family and friends becoming victims in the struggle between greedy land owners and revolutionaries. ...more
Aug 07, 2013 Julia rated it it was amazing
What comes to your mind when you imagine the life of a young teenage boy? Sleepovers with friends, homework, pizza parties, video games, and first crushes? Jando, the young protagonist of this wonderful novel, would probably have loved to have this kind of life. But his fate turned out to be much more complicated, tragic, and heart-breaking. Jando is growing up in the middle of an armed conflict in the Philippines. At the beginning of the story, his loving and caring parents try to shield him fr ...more
Jun 13, 2013 Amber rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a meaningful book about important topics, those interested in Philippine history
How do I even begin to describe this book? A Light in the Cane Fields has easily made it into my list of favorite books I have ever read.

Jando is a wonderful character, a true canary in a coal mine. He never loses his humanity despite all of the horrible things he is forced to endure. The plot did take a bit of time to pick up and get to the main bits, but it really worked for the story in the end - you wind up very invested in Jando and his family, and without that sort of emotional attachment
Marc Secchia
Sep 06, 2013 Marc Secchia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: influences, terrific
A searing and savage coming-of-age portrayal of a child soldier in the Philippines, A Light in the Cane Fields is a story that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page. The story follows Jando's loss, transformation and eventually redemption, as events strip him of his innocence and thrust him prematurely into manhood. Through Jando's eyes the images of family and friendship juxtapose with those of inhumanity and death.

Jando's life of privilege as the son of a landowner, richly
Glenn Bridges
Jul 08, 2013 Glenn Bridges rated it really liked it
As I read the final page of Enrico Antiporda's A LIGHT IN THE CANE FIELDS, a sense of appreciation and satisfaction settled upon my shoulders. For too long I had been reading works of fiction that relied on shock value, gratuitous plot twists, or imaginative subject matter to hold my attention,(and these are not necessarily bad things)but not anymore. Antiporda's tale of a thirteen year old Filipino boy turned guerilla soldier is fiction as art, and beautiful to behold.
Jando Flores tells the s
Virginia Arthur
Nov 25, 2013 Virginia Arthur rated it really liked it
Book Review for: A Light in the Cane Fields
Author: Enrico Antiporda
Edition: Kindle

As a courtesy from the author, I received a free copy of the e-book in exchange for doing an unbiased review. Per review guidelines, the review includes the following components: characterization, writing style, pace, length, plot, symbolism, language (spelling and grammar), settings, and personal reaction. The review will be organized in this order.


This novel is set in the Philippines. I know only a li
Jennifer Moreland
May 10, 2013 Jennifer Moreland rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review, and I enjoyed the experience. "A Light in the Cane Fields" pulled me in from the first page -- I felt like I was watching alongside the main character, feeling the intensity of his emotions. The author provides a graceful attention to detail that draws readers in, rather than overwhelming them. The story is at times very intense but never over-the-top, and the characters are fully realized and sympathetic.
E.E. West
Feb 25, 2014 E.E. West rated it it was amazing
The novel, 'A Light in the Cane Field,' by Enrico Antiporda is the beautifully written but often harrowing story of the lives, the culture, the marvels of youth and the harsh and unforgiving realities of civil unrest at a time of political upheaval, rampant corruption and martial law as seen through the eyes of the privileged son of a sugar cane plantation owner during the late sixties in the Pampanga province of the Philippines.

The story begins with Jando Flores, now a newly trained child sold
Gabbie EVHS Aguinaldo
Feb 13, 2015 Gabbie EVHS Aguinaldo rated it really liked it
in this book A Light in the Cane Fields, by Enrico Antiporda, tells of how a young boy Jando looses his family buy the Philippine government. his fathers plantation gets taken by the government and is wanted by the officers because they couldn't pay the taxes. the family ends up trying to move away to manila, Jando and his family are captured. jando is separated from his sister Tanaya and his family id murdered. Jando goes on a journey to a church where he realizes there was many massacres.
Nov 29, 2013 torque rated it liked it
The book was ok, but couldn't really captivate me.
Sarah marked it as to-read
May 06, 2016
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Jonathan Nehring rated it it was amazing
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Victoria Randall rated it it was amazing
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Apr 10, 2015
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Allan Karl rated it liked it
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I'm a fiction editor of Conclave, a Journal of Character, an annual literary magazine. I published my first novel, The Band of Gypsies, in 2000 with rave editorial reviews. A Light in the Cane Fields earned two consecutive scholarships at the Squaw Valley Writers Conference and was a top semifinalist in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. The novel earned a tour de force review f ...more
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