Friday, 28 July 2017

The Assignment - Geraldine Solon

           The Assignment is not the average bodice-ripping, flowery romance novel. Rather it is a touching love story that manages to tell the story of not one, but two couples, who battle life issues so that they can be together. The author doesn’t use sex to draw the reader in but instead creates a story that intertwines all of the characters into one story. The two couples, Sophie and Eric, Marina and Yakoda, have parallel love stories although one is set in the 40s during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines and the other one is set in the 80s. The setting for both is very richly written by Ms. Solon and it shows the great knowledge and love for the Filipino culture that she so obviously has. I loved the inside look at the food of this land and how family plays such an important part of their everyday life. I learned more about this world from this book than I ever thought I would learn from reading a romance. There’s also quite a bit written about the political unrest in the Philippines during the 80s. It’s not a historical text by any means but it is quite factual and makes for very interesting reading. It was really nice to read a romance that wasn’t just a load of flowery prose and “fluffy” characters.
                The characters are very well written and each had multifaceted personalities. Marina, for me, was the most interesting and showed the most realism. Her story, set in the 40s, was by far my favourite of the two love stories. The way Marina and Yakoda met and the tragedy of their story really tugs at your heart strings. The beauty of Ms. Solon’s writing really makes the reader experience the fear that Marina and her family must have felt during the occupation and the fact that she still found love is made believable by the author’s talent at story telling.             
                Sophie is the main character and the hinted at secret that is eventually revealed in the end is actually quite easily guessed long before the reveal. There are a few hints throughout the book and I don’t know whether they were planted on purpose or just coincidence but when you look back you realize it was very obvious.
                This is a sweet love story that turned out to be much better than I originally thought. It is a very good way to spend a summer afternoon. The cover is attractive but I have to admit that it was the title that drew me to the book. I read it on my ereader and it formatted well.