A story of love that was never meant to live yet refused to die … Set against the backdrop of one of the most tragic events in Philippine history—the imposition of the Martial Law Regime in 1972—and a seemingly innocent yet an equally enigmatic story for children, the novel focuses on Lisa Rubio, a woman haunted by her deprived childhood, a lost love, and a broken identity after her incarceration during the President Marcos regime. Resolute and strong-willed, she slowly resurrects from her bitterness and disillusionment against life’s baffling questions, the deceit and trappings of the adult world that she learned to despise. By excelling in academics and in her chosen career as a woman of science, she regains a sure footing and rebuilds her shattered self. But fate has other plans, in the person of a young man named Leo. Thus begins yet another painful journey of her self-doubt, psychological trepidation and moral dilemma. Lisa’s psychiatrist helps her navigate and dissect her emotional turmoil at falling for a boy half her age. “Here is a brilliant woman who studies the stars, who stands on the shoulders of Galileo, but peeps through the eyes of Ichabod,” as Dr. Mores allegorically described Lisa’s person. Yet, when despair takes her almost to the brink, salvation comes from an unexpected stranger—Professor Justin Pullin, a man whom Lisa distrusts. With stoic calm and gentle prudence, the professor leads Lisa through a deep introspection and to the wisdom behind suffering that is almost too heavy for the human heart to bear. Just when she resolves to make a right decision, a restless and capricious fate taunts her again: a strange twist of reality brings her and Leo together, and now that they are both adults, their restrained love is suddenly freed and opens like a floodgate. That fateful meeting, however, proves to be Lisa’s adamant yet ultimate act of love, a poignant redemption afforded her by the third reason.
J. B. Villegas lives in Texas, where she enjoys watching her tomatoes grow. She holds the degree, Doctor of Dental Medicine.
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