University of Michigan Press, 1999, softcover, 216 pages, ISBN 0472086375
Compelling War Story, a Classic
When the Rainbow Goddess Wept is Cecilia’s acclaimed first novel about a coming age of a young girl in the Philippines during World War Two. First published in the Philippines as Song of Yvonne, it was picked up by Dutton/Penguin in 1994. A Plume paperback edition was published in 1995. A Turkish Edition, Gokkusagi Tanricasi Agladigunda (translated by Fusun Talay), was published by Bilge Kultur Sanat in 2001.
The US edition of When the Rainbow Goddess Wept is currently published by the University of Michigan Press, and the Philippine edition was released by The University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in 2019.
“When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Brainard is the tearful, seldom-told story of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during World War II as seen through the eyes of a young Filipino girl. The many hardships that 9‑year-old Yvonne Macaraig and her family are faced with teach her the value of hope and endurance … Brainard’s wonderful novel shows how war brings out the best and the worst in people as it describes both the atrocities and the heroics that befall her characters. The novel’s theme, the vast cost of war on the human spirit is illustrated well by Yvonne’s tragic loss of innocence. In the words of her grandfather, Lolo Peping: ‘Before man sinned, he was innocent. Man’s original sin wasn’t eating the forbidden fruit; it was Cain’s murder of his brother.’” (Associated Press)
“Interweaves realistic events with myths of women fighters and goddesses, as well as fantastic dreams … Brainard’s appealing characters are larger than life, people who change before our eyes, yet remain utterly convincing … A fast-paced, sensitively written first novel.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The strengthening of the national spirit; the loss of innocence in two generations — these themes are explored by the author, who was born in the Philippines, with persuasive conviction and stark realism.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Stories of war are perhaps most compelling when told through the eyes of children, whose innocence is always so tragically incongruous to the adult madness that rages around them. When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, a first novel by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard that chronicles the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during World War II, is no exception.” (Los Angeles Times)“Enchanting throughout, this novel will mesmerize the reader right up until its victorious ending.” (Booklist)