Esperanza Street, by Niyati Keni. And Other Stories (2015), Paperback, 320 pages.
A coming of age novel about a boy in a seaside town in the Philippines threatened with new developments.
Esperanza Street is a street in a small town in the Philippines. It runs from the big houses on the hill down to the jetty where poor people live and work. The central character of the novel is Joseph, a teenager from a family near the jetty who becomes a houseboy for a widow who runs a boardinghouse up on the hill. She has two sons, one Joseph’s age and the other older, and Joseph gets involved in both their problems. At the same time, a distrusted land speculator is planning to build a massive new development of malls and other buildings that will require the destruction of the homes of many poor residents. For Joseph, as for his…
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