The Rosales House [Paperback]
The Rosales House is a contemporary novel about Claire Rosales, a twenty-eight year old advertising executive in Singapore, who hails from a powerful political clan in the Philippines. Claire's orderly life in Singapore is disrupted by the death of her influential grandmother Gloria Rosales. With Gloria's demise, Claire loses her constant support and her strongest pillar especially after her broken wedding engagement. Moreover, the Rosales estate is now divided and the clan will have to rely more on Claire's uncle, Ric, a congressman, for their public face. Claire knows only too well, though, that Ric is not the charismatic family man he pretends to be. At Christmas, Claire masks her grief and goes about her duties just like everyone else in her clan. On this trip though, she sees her parents, Dino and Anna, in a new light. Dino, quiet and introverted, effectively manages Buena Vista, a vast farmland that he inherits from Gloria. Anna steps up and becomes actively involved in farm activities. Claire starts to feel hopeful, but she then discovers a family secret that shatters her sense of identity—Claire is not the daughter of Dino and Anna, but of Ric and a yet unknown woman. Claire searches for her biological mother and ultimately locates a Melanie Montero in New York. But while Melanie seems warm and welcoming, Claire feels that she will always be an outsider in Melanie's tight-knit family. The truth about Claire and her meeting Melanie cannot be revealed to the rest of the Rosales clan yet because of a threat to Ric's re-election bid, a setback that can further diminish the Rosales's social standing, which has started to erode since Gloria's death. Before this can be resolved, the clan is beset by new scandals that drives Claire to avoid the Rosales House altogether. After all she has her own neat life in Singapore and it's high time she starts her own family...away from the chaos of the Rosales House. A few years later, in yet another election season, Claire's relatives urge her to help in rebuilding the clan's reputation. This time around it is not for Ric who himself has not returned to Valle Viejo after an earlier loss, but for JM, Claire's cousin/ half-brother, who runs for a seat in congress in an attempt to restore the shattered Rosales image. On election eve, the clan spontaneously gathers at Buena Vista partly to escape the tension at the Rosales House. Claire stands under one of the sturdy trees that have survived past storms as she surveys her clan, all three generations of them. She is confident that the Rosales name, though without Ric, its supposed-pillar, will rise anew for the younger generation—just like the trees that now stand tall as though guarding Buena Vista.
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