Book Rating: 3.9
Murder Mystery * Socially Conscious * Sly Humor
Now You See Us by Balli Kaur Jaswal, is based in part about an event that occurred in 1991. Flor Conception, a Filipino domestic worker employed in Singapore, was accused of murder, and subsequently executed in 1995. The case sparked a division between the government, overseas workers, and their elite employers. Jaswal creates a fascinating cast of characters to illuminate the personal and legal vulnerabilities of overseas domestic workers.
Flordeliza (Flor) – arrested for the murder of her employer, claims she is innocent. Her friends, Cora, Angel, and Donita cooperate to find evidence to support Flor’s innocence and reveal the murderer.
Corazon (Cora) – Cora finds herself continuously haunted by a personal tragedy that caused an abrupt exit from her previous employer. Afraid of being deported she leaves the Philippines and finds work with Ma’am Elizabeth, who treats her as one of the family.
Angel – cares for Mr. Vijay who suffered a stroke while contending with unwanted advances from his son. Angel is dealing with a few life crises: coming out to her sister and a devastating breakup from her girlfriend.
Donita — the youngest and most rebellious of the three is forced to endure cruel treatment from her employer, Mrs. Poh Choo Fann, a Christian advocate for anti-gay laws.
Separated by class and money, the women in Now You See Us have a common goal: they are all fighting to create an identity independent of rules, laws, and ideologies that govern their lives. Jaswal does a fantastic job of bringing the subject of classism, dehumanization, and subjugation of domestic workers, to a global literary audience. Now You See Us is an excellent book club choice that offers a myriad of characters and social subjects, ripe for discussion.
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