Book Thoughts: Tall Story by Candy Gourlay


I swear it sometimes felt like she was taller than me.

This book was lent to me by a friend because she knows that reading books by Filipino authors is one of my reading goals this year. Okay, I just assumed that it’s the reason. Tall Story is the debut novel of Candy Gourlay, a Filipino author based in UK. I really like this book and here are the reasons why.

1. I love basketball. I am an NBA fan, a San Antonio Spurs fan. I don’t play basketball (I do, in NBA2k games. Hehe!) but I really love watching basketball since I was a kid. I was engrossed with the story because there’s a lot of basketball in it. And I really admire Andi because even though she’s a girl and she’s not tall, she’s a very good shooter and she’s a point guard!

2. This brother-sister story was told in both perspectives. I like reading novels told in different POVs; that is one of the reasons why I like Flipped and the books of A Song of Ice and Fire. Because of alternating perspectives, I feel more connected with the thoughts and emotions of Andi and Bernardo. Andi is this smart and somewhat sarcastic kid. Bernardo is the shy and gentle tall guy. But both wanted to be a good sibling to the other in spite of their differences. Their relationship reminded me to appreciate my siblings too. 🙂

3. I was reminded of Bernardo Carpio. I first read about Bernardo Carpio when I was still in elementary school. As I recall, he is a strong giant that prevented the clashing of two mountains using his bare hands. This book mentioned a different version but still, this reminds us of our own Filipino mythology. I believe that Philippine legends like this shouldn’t fade into oblivion. I hope that when Filipino kids of today are asked if they know who Bernardo Carpio is, they would proudly say they do.

4. This is very easy to read. This is a children’s book so this is a light and easy read. If I would recommend a book to a child, I will definitely speak of this book.  But even though I’m not a child anymore, I appreciate reading books like this from time to time. This book served as a breather after finishing books of metafiction and stream of consciousness. 😀

5. This is written by a Filipino author. Even though Gourlay is based in UK, she’s still a Filipino at heart. Filipino culture is reflected in this novel – its folklore, the love of basketball, immigration, and close community and family ties. One of my goals this year is to read works by Filipino authors. If it weren’t for our book club, I wouldn’t be aware of our local authors. The Filipino authors and their works that I only know before were those that are required to read in school which I really didn’t care much about. Let’s say that I am a newbie in reading books by Filipino authors. Good thing I get a lot of recommendations from my bookish friends. I am starting to read Filipino books now; and I am really proud of them.

To read more about Candy Gourlay and her books, click here. Cheers to our Filipino authors!

(4/5 stars)


2 thoughts on “Book Thoughts: Tall Story by Candy Gourlay

  1. Have you read Eating Fire and Drinking Water by Arlene Chai? I love this book and totally recommend it! Chai is a Filipino author based elsewhere too, Australia if I remember correctly.

    Another reco is Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto. 🙂

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