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All My Lonely Islands

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  20 reviews
One crisp March evening, Crisanta and Ferdinand arrive on the remote Batanes islands for a mission: locate Graciella, whose son, Stevan, they saw die in a tragic accident a decade ago. But they need to confess something to her: Stevan’s death is not all what it seems. Oppressed by a decade of painful memories, Crisanta and Ferdinand must race against time—from the wild swa ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published 2017 by Anvil Publishing
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  83 ratings  ·  20 reviews


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Heba
Jan 17, 2021 added it
لا تتعجلني...دعني أنفض عن يديّ الرمال الناعمة أولاً ومن ثم سأروي لك الحكاية..
على إحدى شواطيء الجزر الفليبينية البديعة جلست برفقة الكاتبة " فيجي كامبيلان" ..أمام المياه اللازوردية التي تلتمع تحت سماء زرقاء صافية..يتناثر بها القليل من السحب الكريمية الهشة..بينما يداعب النسيم وجهينا...كانت أمواج المحيط الهاديء تلعق أقدامنا ...وهسهستها تختبيء بداخل الأصداف لكي لا تتوقف الحكاية التي تشق طريقها للقلب دون عناء....
تبدأ حكاية الطفلة "كريسانتا" ولدت في "مانيلا" تخلت عنها أمها يوم ولادتها وقد تولى والدها ر
...more
Eunice Moral
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional writing style, truly worthy of its praise.

This book won the Grand Prize for the Novel 2015 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for a reason. It is without a doubt truly worthy of that prestigious award. Now how to give the justice it deserves? I have zero idea, but I’m trying anyway. I have to point out first that this book is very well-written in all sense of the word. The words used in each sentences were carefully crafted so as to give life to the story. And though
...more
Atty. Winston Pagador
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I am so happy to have read this book and I am so proud of fellow Filipino, VJ Campilan. She nailed this one! A finely crafted novel, a remarkably well-told tale. All My Lonely Islands is a poignant story about people who are not only haunted by death but by life. It is a powerful meditation of forgiveness, regret, identity and redemption. Campilan's prose is beautiful and lyrical that rivets not only our attention but also our understanding and recognition of the past, of the what-ifs, of t ...more
Binibining `E (of The Ugly Writers)
This book was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This is the Grand Prize Winner for the 2015 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awrds.

"All those lonely islands. They will keep afloat without me."

Finally, I was able to finish this book and it took me a long time to end this. I don't know why but I was afraid to end it. Maybe because I was not ready to know what will happen. I just want to savor the memories of this book. It has this vibe, that is so melancholic. The stor
...more
Pamy Lazatin
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I took the author's advice and savoured every word of this novel. An eloquent and emotionally searing story of the complexity of relationships, of redemption and forgiving oneself. How fitting that I should finish it on Mother's Day. By the time I reached those last pages, it beautifully displayed the unconditional love we all receive, if not from our own mothers, but from our great God of infinite chances. ...more
Earl
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pinoy, fiction
I didn't appreciate it at first because it looks like a memoir that felt too plain for me, but when it goes to its larger themes, I just can't take the book off my hands. This is indeed a wonderful work deserving of a literary award, and I hope everybody who journeys and struggles with faith and life finds this book. ...more
Jennilyn
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“All My Lonely Islands” won the Grand Prize for the Novel in the 2015 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. How could I even dare to review a novel that won such a prestigious award? It is honestly an intimidating task but I’ll try. One of the Palanca Awards judges blurbed and praised the book for its “sparkling prose” and I agree with it 100%. The plot is pretty much uncomplicated and if I were to write the story, it would be just straightforward and be over by two pages. But Crisanta, ...more
Arvyn Cerezo
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Why come back to this empty house, and this Manila with a strange face; the one I never knew? All those lonely islands. They will keep afloat without me.
Serah
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Serah by: Nana
An impressive story from a Filipina novelist. A must read.
Inah Anunciacion
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abi
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. It stirred emotions in me I never knew I had. Crisanta broke my heart, and then, gave me a new hope. Just like her farewell to Stevan and Graciella, I don’t think I can ever say goodbye to this book. “A lifetime of remembering,” like Crisanta said. I will definitely read this again someday.
jules
Apr 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
wow...just wow. this was very heartbreaking to me. for some reason, i could feel whatever crisanta was feeling i guess that's just how good the author was at describing feelings. although inevitable, death terrifies me, and this book sort of solidified my fear of it. ...more
Barbara Brockhaus
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
4.5 I really liked this book but at the beginning I had a hard time understanding who "you" was. I couldn't figure out if she was breaking the fourth wall or talking to someone. As the book went along and that mystery was solved I really loved it. The characters and prose was amazing. ...more
Oatmilk Lover
I'm afraid I don't fit the target audience of this book. ...more
Louisse
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite
Beautiful. Absolutely great storytelling!
Shane Dana
May 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I would highly recommend this to anyone. This book took me on a journey, broke and rebuilt me in just 200 pages. A very memorable read and is now one of my ultimate favorites.
emil
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
i’m so wowed!!! omg!
Judy Grace Legaspi
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. ❤️ No wonder it won the Palanca.

Redemption as a theme always evokes a strange feeling (of insatiability). But there's closure in the story, and this makes the difference.
...more
Moira
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A woman is in search of her childhood friend's mother to confess the truth about his death. She takes you from the Philippines to Bangladesh and back.

First thoughts
I had to put this book down when I first attempted to read it a year ago. I found the writing style too pretentious and the unceasing description of the view from the window unbearable. I added it to a pile of books for redemption by the end of 2020 before I finally decide to let them go.

Praise
I am so glad I picked it up again. Onc
...more
Icy
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful, well-written book. I savored every page. 😍 It made my heart ache.
Maria Lorena Bonita
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Nov 01, 2017
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Nov 16, 2019
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Nov 29, 2020
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Dec 30, 2017
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VJ Campilan is a banker by day and a novelist by night. All My Lonely Islands was her thesis for her MFA Creative Writing degree, after which it won the Grand Prize for the 2015 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, the Philippines' most prestigious and long-running literary award. It also won the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award and the Gintong Aklat Award. It was recently announced as a finalis ...more

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