Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir

Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir

Told with a lyrical, almost-dreamlike voice as intoxicating as the moonflowers and orchids that inhabit this world, Monsoon Mansion is a harrowing yet triumphant coming-of-age memoir exploring the dark, troubled waters of a family?s rise and fall from grace in the Philippines. It would take a young warrior to survive it. Cinelle Barnes was barely three years old when her fa Told with a lyrical, almost-dreamlike voice as intoxicating as the moonflowers and orchids that inhabit this world,...

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Title:Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir
Author:Cinelle Barnes
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:1542046130
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:252 pages pages

Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir Reviews

  • Ann Kuhn
    May 15, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

  • Jackie
    May 16, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

  • Erin
    Apr 08, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

  • Jean
    Apr 04, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

  • Hannah
    Apr 10, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

    There is so much to love about this book that I don?t where to begin. Should I start with the writing? The author?s sense of place is sensual, palpable, and the scenes so beautifully descriptive that the mansion becomes another character in the novel. It lives and breathes and ...

    I blasted through this book about a little girl living in a deteriorating mansion as her life similarly crumbles and shifts into a chaotic life of neglect poverty and constant struggle. Sometimes Barnes, the author did not focus on things I wanted to know or thought as important su...

    From my editor's letter: How do you define your relationship with your mother? Was it tender and full of love? Or perhaps it was distant and confusing? The role of a mother can be complicated, and author Cinelle Barnes masterfully and tenderly depicts her mother in every facet, from s...

    Magical and mortifying Barnes does more than just tell her story in this memoir, she exposes her soul. Through the ups and downs of life in the mansion, this book is beautifully painful to read. The resilience, strength, and love built of hardship are so exquisitely portrayed. I'll ...

    Beautiful and captivating story. I loved this book. ...

    I chose this as my Kindle Unlimited First Reads book this month, and I am so glad I did. This book definitely inspires a wealth of emotion: anger, sadness, admiration, and hope chief among them. Lyrical is used to describe the writing and it's spot on. I actually got a magical realis...

  • Liz
    Apr 15, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

  • Jim Minick
    Jul 08, 2017

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

  • Cheska
    Apr 15, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

    There is so much to love about this book that I don?t where to begin. Should I start with the writing? The author?s sense of place is sensual, palpable, and the scenes so beautifully descriptive that the mansion becomes another character in the novel. It lives and breathes and ...

    I blasted through this book about a little girl living in a deteriorating mansion as her life similarly crumbles and shifts into a chaotic life of neglect poverty and constant struggle. Sometimes Barnes, the author did not focus on things I wanted to know or thought as important su...

    From my editor's letter: How do you define your relationship with your mother? Was it tender and full of love? Or perhaps it was distant and confusing? The role of a mother can be complicated, and author Cinelle Barnes masterfully and tenderly depicts her mother in every facet, from s...

    Magical and mortifying Barnes does more than just tell her story in this memoir, she exposes her soul. Through the ups and downs of life in the mansion, this book is beautifully painful to read. The resilience, strength, and love built of hardship are so exquisitely portrayed. I'll ...

    Beautiful and captivating story. I loved this book. ...

    I chose this as my Kindle Unlimited First Reads book this month, and I am so glad I did. This book definitely inspires a wealth of emotion: anger, sadness, admiration, and hope chief among them. Lyrical is used to describe the writing and it's spot on. I actually got a magical realis...

    It's nice to stumble across a book written by a Filipino. I hungered for the scattered Tagalog words, and though my childhood was nowhere near like hers, I too hungered for the maternal love with her ghost-child sought. The writing was more dream-like and hazy, but I still enjoyed her ...

  • Joann
    May 10, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

  • Vivian
    Apr 09, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

    There is so much to love about this book that I don?t where to begin. Should I start with the writing? The author?s sense of place is sensual, palpable, and the scenes so beautifully descriptive that the mansion becomes another character in the novel. It lives and breathes and ...

    I blasted through this book about a little girl living in a deteriorating mansion as her life similarly crumbles and shifts into a chaotic life of neglect poverty and constant struggle. Sometimes Barnes, the author did not focus on things I wanted to know or thought as important su...

    From my editor's letter: How do you define your relationship with your mother? Was it tender and full of love? Or perhaps it was distant and confusing? The role of a mother can be complicated, and author Cinelle Barnes masterfully and tenderly depicts her mother in every facet, from s...

  • Jacqueline
    Apr 20, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

  • Candace
    May 03, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

  • BLS and QF
    Apr 07, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

  • Mary
    Apr 05, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

  • Carol
    Apr 02, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

  • Paige Erin
    Apr 09, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

    There is so much to love about this book that I don?t where to begin. Should I start with the writing? The author?s sense of place is sensual, palpable, and the scenes so beautifully descriptive that the mansion becomes another character in the novel. It lives and breathes and ...

    I blasted through this book about a little girl living in a deteriorating mansion as her life similarly crumbles and shifts into a chaotic life of neglect poverty and constant struggle. Sometimes Barnes, the author did not focus on things I wanted to know or thought as important su...

  • Julia Wesley
    Apr 02, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

  • Devon
    Apr 05, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

  • lee
    Apr 13, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

    There is so much to love about this book that I don?t where to begin. Should I start with the writing? The author?s sense of place is sensual, palpable, and the scenes so beautifully descriptive that the mansion becomes another character in the novel. It lives and breathes and ...

    I blasted through this book about a little girl living in a deteriorating mansion as her life similarly crumbles and shifts into a chaotic life of neglect poverty and constant struggle. Sometimes Barnes, the author did not focus on things I wanted to know or thought as important su...

    From my editor's letter: How do you define your relationship with your mother? Was it tender and full of love? Or perhaps it was distant and confusing? The role of a mother can be complicated, and author Cinelle Barnes masterfully and tenderly depicts her mother in every facet, from s...

    Magical and mortifying Barnes does more than just tell her story in this memoir, she exposes her soul. Through the ups and downs of life in the mansion, this book is beautifully painful to read. The resilience, strength, and love built of hardship are so exquisitely portrayed. I'll ...

    Beautiful and captivating story. I loved this book. ...

    I chose this as my Kindle Unlimited First Reads book this month, and I am so glad I did. This book definitely inspires a wealth of emotion: anger, sadness, admiration, and hope chief among them. Lyrical is used to describe the writing and it's spot on. I actually got a magical realis...

    It's nice to stumble across a book written by a Filipino. I hungered for the scattered Tagalog words, and though my childhood was nowhere near like hers, I too hungered for the maternal love with her ghost-child sought. The writing was more dream-like and hazy, but I still enjoyed her ...

    Wow! I had to keep reminding myself this was not fiction, this really happened. I admire Cinelle's ability to write with such clarity about the pain and joy of her years growing up. An excellent writer. I look forward to reading more of what she writes. ...

    Incredible An intriguing look of how a family descends from wealth to poverty! A young girl's survival in unimaginable circumstances! Most of all the belief in herself above all else! You can't help but fall in love with her and cheer for every accomplishment she strives for! ...

  • Alicia Urban
    Apr 06, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

  • Jennifer Joukhadar
    Dec 21, 2017

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

  • Teri Pardue
    Jun 08, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

  • Ava Maguire
    May 06, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

    There is so much to love about this book that I don?t where to begin. Should I start with the writing? The author?s sense of place is sensual, palpable, and the scenes so beautifully descriptive that the mansion becomes another character in the novel. It lives and breathes and ...

    I blasted through this book about a little girl living in a deteriorating mansion as her life similarly crumbles and shifts into a chaotic life of neglect poverty and constant struggle. Sometimes Barnes, the author did not focus on things I wanted to know or thought as important su...

    From my editor's letter: How do you define your relationship with your mother? Was it tender and full of love? Or perhaps it was distant and confusing? The role of a mother can be complicated, and author Cinelle Barnes masterfully and tenderly depicts her mother in every facet, from s...

    Magical and mortifying Barnes does more than just tell her story in this memoir, she exposes her soul. Through the ups and downs of life in the mansion, this book is beautifully painful to read. The resilience, strength, and love built of hardship are so exquisitely portrayed. I'll ...

    Beautiful and captivating story. I loved this book. ...

  • Nia Ita
    Apr 07, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

  • Lori Livesay
    Apr 09, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

    There is so much to love about this book that I don?t where to begin. Should I start with the writing? The author?s sense of place is sensual, palpable, and the scenes so beautifully descriptive that the mansion becomes another character in the novel. It lives and breathes and ...

  • david
    May 10, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

  • Susan
    Apr 13, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

    There is so much to love about this book that I don?t where to begin. Should I start with the writing? The author?s sense of place is sensual, palpable, and the scenes so beautifully descriptive that the mansion becomes another character in the novel. It lives and breathes and ...

    I blasted through this book about a little girl living in a deteriorating mansion as her life similarly crumbles and shifts into a chaotic life of neglect poverty and constant struggle. Sometimes Barnes, the author did not focus on things I wanted to know or thought as important su...

    From my editor's letter: How do you define your relationship with your mother? Was it tender and full of love? Or perhaps it was distant and confusing? The role of a mother can be complicated, and author Cinelle Barnes masterfully and tenderly depicts her mother in every facet, from s...

    Magical and mortifying Barnes does more than just tell her story in this memoir, she exposes her soul. Through the ups and downs of life in the mansion, this book is beautifully painful to read. The resilience, strength, and love built of hardship are so exquisitely portrayed. I'll ...

    Beautiful and captivating story. I loved this book. ...

    I chose this as my Kindle Unlimited First Reads book this month, and I am so glad I did. This book definitely inspires a wealth of emotion: anger, sadness, admiration, and hope chief among them. Lyrical is used to describe the writing and it's spot on. I actually got a magical realis...

    It's nice to stumble across a book written by a Filipino. I hungered for the scattered Tagalog words, and though my childhood was nowhere near like hers, I too hungered for the maternal love with her ghost-child sought. The writing was more dream-like and hazy, but I still enjoyed her ...

    Wow! I had to keep reminding myself this was not fiction, this really happened. I admire Cinelle's ability to write with such clarity about the pain and joy of her years growing up. An excellent writer. I look forward to reading more of what she writes. ...

  • Goth Gone Grey
    Apr 06, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

  • Carrie Templeton
    Apr 18, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...

    Beautiful and poetic I really enjoyed this book, such beautiful prose, her writing feels almost poetic. The author brings to life her childhood in Manila and the fall of her family's wealth. Her story is written chronologically starting with her premature birth, weighing only 2 poun...

    Outstanding Barnes is in equal turns poetic, graphic, fantasical and gritty. She has bloomed from an exotic and chaotic childhood and adolescence into a gifted author. Her story so mesmerized me I read it in one day. ...

    I listened to the Audible version of this book, and I think it probably helped add the fifth star. Hearing her own voice added something imperative. ...

    Wow! What Insight into another world of pain and survival. Great writing about struggles and winning despite being surrounded by evil and decay. Exhausting, intriguing and highly recommended. ...

    Lyrical. Beautiful. Brutal. Cinelle Barnes? memoir is reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s early works, transporting readers to the Philippines of her childhood and the decaying glamour of the mansion in which she lost her childhood and found her identity as a writer. I read this book...

    The bravest memoir I?ve ever read, MONSOON MANSION tells the story of Barnes? finding her way through a labyrinth of hunger, pain, and cruelty during her childhood in the Philippines and yet still managing to find joy and kindness in those she came across, never losing herself alon...

    A tragic riches to rags story, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, is Cinelle Barnes tale of her coming-of-age in the Philippines. Her mother, a doctor and social climber is intent on living the good life. Her father, a successful entrepreneur, tries to keep his wife happy while making a name f...

    There is so much to love about this book that I don?t where to begin. Should I start with the writing? The author?s sense of place is sensual, palpable, and the scenes so beautifully descriptive that the mansion becomes another character in the novel. It lives and breathes and ...

    I blasted through this book about a little girl living in a deteriorating mansion as her life similarly crumbles and shifts into a chaotic life of neglect poverty and constant struggle. Sometimes Barnes, the author did not focus on things I wanted to know or thought as important su...

    From my editor's letter: How do you define your relationship with your mother? Was it tender and full of love? Or perhaps it was distant and confusing? The role of a mother can be complicated, and author Cinelle Barnes masterfully and tenderly depicts her mother in every facet, from s...

    Magical and mortifying Barnes does more than just tell her story in this memoir, she exposes her soul. Through the ups and downs of life in the mansion, this book is beautifully painful to read. The resilience, strength, and love built of hardship are so exquisitely portrayed. I'll ...

  • Christine Sorrell
    Apr 08, 2018

    Wow. I normally shy away from memoirs. They make me feel like an ambulance chaser. Also, how do I trust them? Memories are so flexible, influenced by emotion and our own brain?s desire to protect itself. How do you fit an entire life in 230ish pages? And such a tumultuous one at ...

    A beautiful book! ...

    This was somehow an easygoing read, yet harrowing. It?s truly is lyrical, almost poetic, oddly. Considering Barnes has had so much time to think about her past, to carry such a heavy weight, she is able to detail the chronology from riches to rags, physical (and metaphorical) deterio...

    The most beautiful book I have read this year. It is a gift. It gives one hope that all will be right on the morrow. It is a gem. It is very very precious. Taste it in the narrow of your bones and savor it. I hope this sista keeps on writing. The world is blessed to hear her voice. ...

    (I am going to be slightly guarded here because I believe the authoress will be reading my perspective.) It is true story written by a creative writer who grew up in the Philippines and currently lives in South Carolina/New York. I have always been fascinated by this country alth...

    A MUST READ This moving and thought-provoking memoir by VONA alumn, Cinelle Barnes, was magical. Cinelle tells her story of moving into a mansion in the Philippines when she was three years old. A mansion purchased by her mother?s inherited wealth and her working father?s oil in...

    Absolutely stunning. This is by far the best book I?ve read to date this year, and it?s certainly going on my all-time Favorites shelf. Barnes? memoir of her rollercoaster childhood in Manila and subsequent triumphant quest for solid ground left me stunned. This is a MUST READ! ...

    This book is okay. I got it for free through Kindle First instead of my usual choice of thriller, to diversify a bit. The author definitely has weathered many storms (and monsoons, literally) and there?s a great story here, but the writing was too overwrought and flowery for me. She ...

    A powerful memoir of neglect and abuse set in the Philippines.  The daughter of a cruel, narcissistic mother and a kind, driven, and ultimately absent father,  Cinelle Barnes grew up in a mansion in Manila. Her mother was the epitome of snobbery and entitlement, based upon the belief...

    I won this Kindle book in a Goodreads Give-a-way. Thanks to all. This was a heart-breaking memoir of a young Pilipino girl who grew up in a wealthy family in a glittery mansion. Before long, there are problems in the mansion and "riches to rags" memoir is unfolding before her eyes. Aft...

    An inspirational memoir, made of light I enjoy memoirs, exploring the world from the comfort of my couch, snuggled in under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea. The cover art and brief synopsis intrigued me for this book, which was a compelling read. As the story starts, the na...

    An achingly beautiful memoir. Tracking Barnes? story: a girl three years my junior growing up just kilometers away from my own home was fascinating and meaningful. I learned a little bit, but mostly I enjoyed getting lost in her lyrical prose and surreal imagery that so well captures...

    Monsoon Mansion is a powerful memoir of the author's experiences growing up in Manila. Parts of it read like poetry, parts like fairy tales, and some of it is imbued with great sadness. Cinelle's parents lived the high life in the Mansion in the 1980s.There were grand parties, dozens...

    Mesmerizing and amazing! As an American born Chinese woman, this book touched upon so many facets of my own life, especially since I too have a mother who has been broken and made into a narcissist because of her family?s loss of prosperity due to her native country?s political...