Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

Believe it or not, it was last year when I bought this book. I picked it even though there were many other books the all-too-knowing saleslady recommended. All good things in due time, or not. I was saving Chopsticks for a rainy day.

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This is a novel about Glory Fleming (piano prodigy) and Francisco Mendoza's (a new foreign neighbor of Glory's) abstract love affair.

Narrated in pictures, this visually engaging album will bewitch readers to go back and forth through the pages until they've finally satisfied themselves with a conclusion.

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I am not going to rob the other readers of the 'full Chopsticks experience' so i'm restraining myself into fully recounting the events that lies ahead. 

However, I am also here to tell 'my experience' and my personal opinion.
(if you haven't read it yet, do not go further than this parenthesis)

  1. There is no Willard Dunn School for Boys. Willard Dunn is the Chief Administrator of Golden Hands Rest Facility. I discovered it because I recognized the 'golden hands' logo in a pamphlet on the last few pages before the book ends. Also, if you look at the very first newspaper clipping of this book, a picture of Golden Hands' building is attached (you won't really know or care at the beginning, a phase where you're still clueless).
  2. All the paintings, books, trinkets and whatnot are Glory's. None of it were Frank's (as we all know now what Frank is). She was the one who drew them all as well. The F. Mendoza signature is void! Please refer to the last few pages, look carefully.
  3. Yes, it was Glory who had sewn the lettering of the boxer's name at the back of the boxer's robe. The robe which we are talking about is actually a gift from her father and not Frank! (admit it, we've all assumed it was him who gave it)
  4. The Julio Iglesias records are Golden Hands' property.
  5. Glory is an insomniac.
  6. Watch out for phrases like "This place is a hellhole", "PIENSA EN MI" and yours truly's personal favorite... "Tu hermano no tiene testiculos." (for an imaginary person, this one's got feisty attitude)

Questions and conclusions
  • Did Jo Ann Castle really gave Glory that autograph dating 12/5 (the year is another question, but this was the day she went missing) with a dedication saying "NO GUTS, NO GLORY"? If so, she might be the one who pushed Glory to elope (with herself!)
  • If Frank was really a figment of the imagination, how can the book explain their pictures together? Especially the ones when they went to Coney Island (the book's cover is nothing but a Coney Island fantasy?!)
  • If Frank is 'not real' then who did Glory lost her virginity to?!
  • Conclusion, the book is more or less letting the readers decide as stated on the mini-excerpt at the back. But they should also know that what they provide is what we get and what they've provided is this... when Frank's face showed up in the sticker of a Francisco de Mendoza wine bottle and in Glory's handwriting were "♥F" at the very last page, it was clear as day that none of it was ever true except maybe what Glory thought to be true (since, in my guess, this book is her personal 'mental patient' memoir)


2 comments:

handiangel | December 1, 2013 at 6:43 AM

Very interesting review! I didn't pick up on imaginary boyfriend aspect... may have to reread to see if I can see that.

Anonymous | March 20, 2014 at 5:24 AM

Incredible! Your review really helped me understand the book and even pointed out a few clues that I had missed. I cottoned on when the logo of the Golden Hands Rest Facility was the same as the logo for Frank's school, and when the paintings originally signed by Frank were suddenly in Glory's room, signed by her! I was like...WHAT?! It is a very interesting story and I really agree that it is Glory's personal 'mental patient' memoir. The little "Love F" at the end in her handwriting is almost a wink, isn't it?

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