Someone Like You by Aileen Santos
Someone Like You explores the challenges of growing up with the struggles many women face regarding cultural and gender expectations.
Giving birth to her first child, Vanessa Soares is no longer satisfied with her mundane, safe life that she’s built with her near-perfect husband Curtis. The baby blues brings about deep contemplation, especially of her strict Filipino upbringing, leaving her grappling to understand why her mother had neglected her, to a father who abused her. Her one saving grace as a teenager was her first boyfriend John who still haunts her thoughts, often returning to challenge her relationship with Curtis. It comes to light that Vanessa and her mother Maria are more alike than initially thought. Maria has had to endure adversity of her own, suffering the loss of her father’s untimely death during the chaotic political times of Manila in the 1970’s, leaving her vulnerable to abuse and a stranger in a foreign country. Both mother and daughter are resilient, living through hardships that strengthen their connection as women and as mothers.
Aileen Santos was born in the Philippines in 1979. She immigrated to Canada with her parents and siblings when she was two. They landed in a suburb just outside of Toronto called Mississauga, where much of this novel takes place. She has published poetry, fiction and creative non-fi ction in various literary journals and zines in Canada, the US and the UK. She currently lives in Acton, Ontario with her two children, two cats and partner of the last 19 years. She teaches Theology to high school students in the Greater Toronto Area. Someone Like You is her debut novel.