by Catherine Torres
Fifteen-year-old Sula has always known she is different. Even though her parents have shown her nothing but love and acceptance, she sees her dark skin as a reminder of how she doesn’t fit in with the rest of her family.
What’s worse is she also feels that her parents are hiding something from her. After getting expelled from school, Sula reluctantly goes to stay with her mother’s friends. There she unexpectedly finds herself on a journey of self-discovery — a journey that keeps drawing her to the sea. Sula must not only figure our her parents’ secret, but also just how different, and possibly magical, she really is.
How much do I love this book? Let me count the ways.
I love the story to the depth of the my soul, as deep as the ocean that brought forth Sula into the world.
I love the story to the highest level of every day’s most quiet need,as high as the stars that Sula’s eyes could see.
Okay.. I’ll stop right here, coz clearly I forgot the lines to Elizabeth Browning’s Sonnet 43. Let’s focus on Sula and Catherine Torres and this book that opened my eyes to a whole new world.
Sula’s Voyage is first and foremost, about family. Coral also known as Sula was different from her parents. While her mom and dad were fair-skinned, hers was as black as the night. But they loved her nonetheless, even after she got expelled from school.
She met James in College where her father taught. The two shared something special and bonded over their love for the sea. But their budding romance was cut short when James had to go back to GenSan (a province in the southern part of the Philippines) and Sula’s father had to go to the Carribean. Her mother decided to go and visit their friends in Mindoro, where her best friend Tita Lupe was ill with cancer. And that’s where she got to see her old friends, Pablo, Pedro and Mira.
Sula discovered far more than she had anticipated in her voyage. But her journey was not an easy feat.
I was mesmerized by the beauty of her story and the beauty of my country as further described in the book. I loved the author’s writing style, so eloquent and hypnotic and very easy to read. I loved that James’ and Sula’s romantic affiliation was not the focus of the story, but it was more on familial love and the realization of Sula’s roots. I loved how the author used the Philippines as its setting, making me appreciate my country more. I loved how Sula had made me cry, how James gave me hope, how Mira made me cope, how Pedro reminded me of my brothers, how Pablo reminded me of secretly falling in love, how Tita Lupe showed me how to be strong, how Sula’s parents made me believe in unconditional love.
This book is perfect, magical and beautiful, I couldn’t ask for more! Thank you Catherine Torres for a very meaningful and moving story.