Book Review: Concepcion

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) – Worth It!

There is nothing so rewarding as reading a deeply personal, generational family narrative while learning the history of place and people along the way.  I am not a great lover of history books, but when it’s interwoven with story with the skill of Albert Samaha’s “Concepcion: An Immigrant Family’s Fortunes” it is a delightful experience I highly recommend. 

“Concepcion” tells the story of Samaha’s Filipino family for generations as they engaged in the colonization of their homeland to their complicated immigration to the United States and the highs and lows they experienced.  What is remarkable about this book is Samaha’s ability to weave together a family history and lore along with the social and political influences and circumstances affecting the Philippines.  

I listened to Samaha tell this story in his own voice through an audio format and his care and passion to share this particular immigration story from a part of the world too often forgotten or glossed over is crystal clear.  He helps the reader see the deeply human complexities of his family’s past and the colonization of the world as they continue to impact his and the next generations’ futures. 

For anyone interested in learning more about Southeast Asia, the Philippines or immigration in general this book offers a unique and engaging perspective. Deeply researched and honest, Samaha faces the complexity of the present and future in relation to the past.

Happy Reading!


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