Book Review: Cemara's Family#1 - Arswendo Atmowiloto

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cemara's Family#1
Somehow, tears doesn't mean sad. It could be grateful.

by Arswendo Atmowiloto

5 of 5 stars

Source: goodreads
Author: Arswendo Atmowiloto
Translator: Dharmawati
Number of pages: 290 pages
Publisher: Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Year of Publish: November, 16th, 2015
ISBN: 97860220320113
Read via iJakarta

In the fast-paced world where conscience is often swallowed by the daily struggles to survive, one little family maintains their true principle that honesty is the best policy. Though stricken with poverty, Cemara's family continues to live with gratefulness, kindness, and resilience. Cemara, the main character of this heartwarming novel, is a bright and lovely little girl who's still in kindergarten. She lives with Abah, the breadwinner of the family, who works as a pedicab driver and a handyman whenever he's needed. To support him, Emak, the mother, makes sweet grain snacks and asks her daughters to sell them around their village. Euis, the fi rstborn daughter, is on the 6th grade and has experienced the family's wealthy state in the past, before poverty strikes them. While the youngest daughter is Agil, a sweet girl who puts a smile in everyone's face. Cemara's Family is an evocative novel about the values of family as a pillar of strength. Cemara's sweet little stories show us that tears can actually be a symbol of happiness and that there is always hope even in the time of hardship.
More Informations:

Well, I think this book is a contradictory from Crazy Rich Asians. If Crazy Rich Asians discussed about the rich family in Singapore, with their luxurious facilities, this book, Cemara's Family is about an ordinary family who really struggle to get money.

Actually, I red this novel because I really miss the serial TV. I tried to search this serial on net, but nothing could be found. So sad. I think that the serial TV is worth to watch. Then, when I searched on iJakarta, I accidentally found this book. Without thinking twice, I borrow this book. Ehm, maybe, if I could red the original one it could be great, but I just could find the English version. I didn't really mind about that because this book is amazing and make me touched. 

Like what has been told from the description, this book is about Cemara's Family, an ordinary and poor family that live in Indihiang, Tasikmalaya. This family consist of Abah, Ema, Euis, Ara, and Agil. They lived in a small house in the middle of village. Everyday, Abah, Ema, and Euis tried so hard to earn money. Abah with his ability became pedicab driver. He is the most repected one in family. No one could disobey his words. Ema is someone who took care all of domestic things, starts from cooking, washing, and make opak--a traditional food that made from floor--for sale. Even though she is the quite one, actually she never complain about her condition. Euis, the elder child, besides going to school, she sell opak too in bus station. She did that to help her family. Ara, the middle child. She just enter the kindergarten. With her ability, she could enter singing competition and became a quiet smart girl, The last is Agil, the youngest children. She always impersonate Ara and make the other laugh with her attitude.

For this family, money is something that hard to earn. Not every things could they get. They have to save some money to get something that they want, but in the end, that saving money used for another else needs. I don't know why, but in the middle of reading this book, I felt pity of their condition. But, I really appreciate their belief that honesty is everything. They do everything with sincere and honesty. No wonder if God always beside them. I know that there are so many bad things happened in their life, starts from the lost money, the lost things, till someone accused them for being liar or other. Instead of angry, Abah always told his family that they have to be patient and still honest for everything.

Edited by me
My favorite character on this book is Abah. He is really sincere and honest. He would try to make his family happy, event though there is many money that they could afford in one day. But, he still remind his family to always grateful to the God. Many moral values that I could get from this novel and I really satisfied by Atmowilotos's writing.

If you want to know about the meaning of life and honesty, you should read this book.

5 stars for this family.

Puji P. Rahayu

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