An Amazon Reviewer
By johanna on February 23, 2016
I read Mayon a few years back because the title lured me in. It's my country's most beautiful volcano with the almost perfect cone. It's on our stamps, on our tourism paraphernalia, it is a symbol of the country's people. That it's setting is a coconut plantation comes home to this reader.
Mickie B. Ashling wrote a story that is quite believable. Of John, an American, hired by the landowner to manage a huge hacienda and is faced with the difficult task of working with Filipino laborers and their unique psyche, as well as having to deal with an almost angry Gregorio, the overseer, who saw his opportunity for a better life threatened by the presence of the former Marine.
I didn't focus much on the romance that developed between the two men, my attention narrowing in on the authenticity of how the author portrayed the land and its peoples. I read was a beautiful, if not too realistic view of a country and how it used to be. The words spoken were not Googled and used in a way that clued me in, this author knew the language - well, at least the dialect of the region which is similar to mine.
Her portrayal of an American gringo hiding in the open with his Filipino lover is also quite realistic. John's decision in the end is the 'surprise' in quotation because I expected it to be. Take note, this is not a story that is fiction in nature and should be dismissed as fiction. These things happened and not imagined. They happened and continue to happen.
I loved reading Mayon. I truly did. For those who are curious of how it was and how it still can be, Ms Ashling succeeded in writing about a people, culture and country that I have not seem before coming from (sorry in advance to Mickie) a gringo.
Beautifully raw, sweet, real: Mayon.