“Patron Saints of Nothing” by Randy Ribay is a powerful novel that tackles the themes of identity, family, and social justice. It tells the story of a Filipino-American teenager named Jay Reguero, who sets out to uncover the truth behind his cousin Jun’s death in the Philippines.
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Patron Saints Of Nothing Summary
The novel opens with Jay, a high school senior in Michigan, receiving a shocking email from his Aunt, informing him of Jun’s death. Jay is stunned, as he has not spoken to Jun in years. Jun was a rebellious teenager who dropped out of school and became involved with drugs, and Jay had lost touch with him.
Jay’s father, who is Filipino, left the family when Jay was young, and Jay has always struggled with his identity. He feels disconnected from his Filipino heritage and has never been to the Philippines. When he receives the news of Jun’s death, he feels a sense of guilt and responsibility and decides to travel to the Philippines to find out what happened.
When Jay arrives in the Philippines, he is shocked by the poverty and chaos he sees. He is also surprised by the warmth and generosity of the people he meets, including his extended family. He learns that Jun was killed as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs and that many innocent people are being killed in the name of justice.
Jay is determined to uncover the truth about Jun’s death and begins to investigate with the help of his family and friends. He discovers that Jun was not involved in drugs, but was killed because he was mistaken for someone else. Jay becomes increasingly angry and frustrated as he learns more about the corruption and violence in the country.
As Jay navigates his way through the complexities of Filipino culture and politics, he also confronts his own prejudices and biases. He learns to appreciate his Filipino heritage and to see the world from a different perspective.
Patron Saints Of Nothing Summary
“Patron Saints of Nothing” is a powerful novel that explores important themes such as identity, family, and social justice. The novel is structured around Jay’s journey of self-discovery, as he grapples with the complexities of his heritage and his role in the world.
One of the central themes of the novel is the idea of identity. Jay struggles with his sense of self, as he feels disconnected from his Filipino heritage. He is also torn between his loyalty to his family and his desire to uncover the truth about Jun’s death. Through his journey in the Philippines, Jay comes to appreciate the richness of his cultural heritage and learns to see the world from a different perspective.
Another important theme in the novel is the idea of family. Jay’s relationship with his father is strained, and he feels disconnected from his extended family in the Philippines. Through his investigation of Jun’s death, Jay begins to build bridges with his family and learns to appreciate the importance of connection and community.
The novel also tackles the issue of social justice and the impact of President Duterte’s war on drugs on the people of the Philippines. The novel portrays the devastating effects of corruption and violence on innocent people and underscores the importance of seeking the truth and standing up for what is right.
One of the strengths of the novel is its portrayal of Filipino culture and politics. Ribay’s vivid descriptions of the Philippines paint a rich and complex portrait of the country and give readers a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the people who live there.
Overall, “Patron Saints of Nothing” is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that tackles important themes and issues. It is a powerful reminder of the importance of seeking the truth, standing up for what is right, and connecting with others. It is a must-read for anyone interested in social justice, identity, and family.
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