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Baby Jesus Pawn Shop

Author: Orth, Lucia Set In . . .
 Asia, Philippines, Manila
Genre: Historical Novel
Time Frame: 1970s
Published: 2008
Description: In steamy, corruption-ridden Manila, at the height of Ferdinand Marcos' brutal regime, two unlikely young lovers come together: Rue Caldwell, the wife of an American counter-insurgency specialist and Doming Aquinaldo, a Filipino dissident working under a secret identity as chauffeur for Rue's husband. Doming is honor-bound to avenge his father's murder, but resists fighting brutality with more violence, choosing instead to be a conduit for information. Rue, who avoids acknowledging the suffering that is veiled by her privileged lifestyle, represents all that Doming despises. However, the more she sees, the more she realizes that her husband and country are on the wrong side in the Philippines' conflict.

As the violence in the country escalates, Rue and Doming find refuge in each other through their loneliness, their awakening conscience and their common experience of betrayal and exile.

Doming soon abandons his role as informant embarking on a perilous journey to his rural home in search of a "disappeared" sister as Rue's life becomes more deeply intertwined with the Marcos regime. When an insurgent bomb attack goes horribly awry, government reprisals take the lives of dozens of innocent Filipinos as well as an American journalist who was trying to expose corruption.

Doming, realizing that Rue and her husband are at risk of becoming "collateral damage," is now compelled to make a difficult choice or else find the narrow way between his love for Rue, his duty to his country and the wisdom of his heart.

Part political thriller, part love story, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop explores the struggle of two ordinary individuals to lead a moral life when reality defies conventional notions of right and wrong.
  
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