26 June 2015


Character Connection 51

Hosted @ The Introverted Reader

It's no longer May (or for my battalions of British readers, March), but I've found a really great mother to write about today. Let me know if Filipina mothers are anything like the mothers where you come from!

Mrs. Vasquez
Welcome to Envy Park
by Mina V. Esguerra

"Of course I offered your place. [Megan's] mom's willing to pay rent," [my mom] said, in that matter-of-fact way . . .

"I'm still living here! Are you planning to evict me?"

"I thought you'd appreciate the financial help, Moira. And you keep saying you're taking off again anyway. I thought you'd be gone by June, to be honest."

The thing about this NV Park fancy apartment--it wasn't completely mine yet. The paperwork had my name on it, sure, but there was that bank loan [my mom co-signed] so I could raise the money to move in on turnover day . . . I could see why she thought she had the right to kick me out of it, in favour of a paying customer.

". . . Honey, please don't be mad at me. This is good news. Megan's going to college here so you have a paying tenant for four years. You won't have to worry about the loan for a long time."

It all made sense, if I imagined that I was someone else, and I was talking to someone not my mother . . .

It's an open secret that Moira's mother drives her crazy. And it's to Mrs. Vasquez's apparent delight! Not because she's a bit of a sadist where Moira is concerned, but because she takes it as a sign that she and her super-independent daughter have a bond that is stronger than the latter will ever openly admit. Moira may have spent five years in another country, proving that the apron strings have been thoroughly unknotted, but almost as soon as she arrives home again, the old mother-daughter dynamic reasserts itself. No wonder she can't wait to take off again--LOL! But woe to anyone who dares to suggest that the main driver of some very valid career choices is her desire to get away from her mother.

But apparently, the only thing worse than having your mother not take you seriously is having your mother take you seriously. =P Mrs. Vasquez's plan for Moira's new flat not only makes good financial sense, but also perfectly lines up with what Moira has declared she wants to do. If anything, this maternal move is a show of support for a daughter's unorthodox lifestyle. The main reason Moira sees this as crossing a boundary and forcing her hand is that she has been having second thoughts about leaving again. But how is Mrs. Vasquez supposed to know that when Moira has been determined not to admit it?

That last question is totally tongue-in-cheek, of course. Mrs. Vasquez likely knows her daughter better than anyone else in the world. It's "mother's intuition" or something. In their little mother-daughter dance, there isn't a single move that Moira could make to throw Mrs. Vasquez's steps off . . . though there seem to be no end of moves that Moira finds herself "manipulated" into. If we're going with this analogy, however, let's note that we're not supposed to trip our dance partners up, though the one who is leading is supposed to decide the steps for the other. Moira is just upset that she isn't getting to lead--and you know she wouldn't mind a role switch!

It must be great to be Mrs. Vasquez, secure that your only daughter is as connected to you as she was when she was still inside you . . . realising that your driving her crazy whether you do or you don't means that you might as well do whatever you please . . . and understanding that the only way for her "to win" what she seems to think is a battle between you is to become a mother herself. For the sooner that sweet day comes, the sooner she will realise that you two have always been on the same side.

If you'd like to read more about Moira Vasquez and her mother, please consider entering my giveaway through the Rafflecopter below . . .

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Image Source: Confessions of a Volcano by Eric Gamalinda


Sheila said...

Oh, that does sound good. If I win your giveaway, maybe I should just let you pick what I should read. :)

I love books about mothers. I'm close with my mom, but I never really felt like she was my mother, more like a sister somehow.

Enbrethiliel said...


I'd be glad to advise you some more if you win--or even surprise you if you insist! =) But for the sake of others who are thinking of buying the book on their own, I should probably add that Mrs. Vasquez, despite her importance in Moira's life, has very little "screen time." But one of her scenes is my favourite one in the entire novel, because of what Moira says about her in the narration. It's a quick line, but a great description of the complex feelings I think a lot of daughters have about their mothers.