Don Vincente by F Sionel Jose

Don Vincente

Don Vicente is a novel that is part of the Rosales Saga, a series of five historical and political novels written by Filipino National Artist F. Sionil José.

The book traces the life of one family, the Asperri family, and their rural town of Rosales from the Philippine revolution against Spain through the arrival of the Americans to the Marcos dictatorship. The story revolves around Don Vicente Asperri, a rapacious feudal landlord who is as much enslaved by the land he owns as his tenant farmers due to his duty to his niece whose parents were massacred by unhappy tenant farmers.

The main themes of the book include the struggle for power and control over land, the importance of education and wisdom, and the conflict between tradition and progress. The book also explores the complexities of human relationships, particularly those between family members and between landlords and tenants.

What I Liked

I have a personal connection to The Philippines, so I’m especially interested in the setting. But the book also reminded me so much of Steinbeck’s East of Eden and how it explores actions within a family and society over generations. Brilliant book.

What I Did Not Like

Nothing – great read.

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