SHADY LADIES present…
ELAINE CASTILLO & “America Is Not The Heart”
October 2018 | BELLE ISLE BOAT HOUSE
On a perfectly crisp fall day, we gathered to celebrate Elaine Castillo’s debut novel, “America Is Not the Heart.” The multi-generational family saga tells the story of three Filipina women immigrants in the U.S.
“Hungrily ambitious in sweep and documentary in detail, and reads like a seismograph of the aftershocks from trading one life for another.” – The New York Times Book Review
“A stunning, powerful look at the American Dream; at family; at all the past lives we can’t escape, no matter how far away we are from home. It’s tender, touching, and impossible to put down.”– Shondaland
"Sophistication rare in a first novel ..." – Vogue
The Belle Isle Boat House was our host for the evening. Event coordinator Ryan Abney toured guests through the 117-year-old facility and showed off the half-million dollars in renovations that are coming.
The building, which offers sweeping views of the Detroit River and downtown skyline, still houses the Detroit Boat Club Crew — the oldest rowing club in North America.
The evening featured a custom cocktail created by Mallery Heise of The Apparatus Room, using the flavors of book — including purple yam!
Additionally, several women-owned vendors joined the party to tell Shady Ladies about their businesses. We were happy to welcome: Rebel Nell, Le Detroit Macaron, Held Ceramics, Rosemarine Textiles, Not Sorry Apparel, Kaivi Jewelry, and de Petites Merveilles.
After a book reading that featured Elaine speaking from the second floor balcony, Romeo & Juliet-style, Shady Ladies retried to the dining room for a meal prepared by Dorothy Hernandez of Sarap Detroit. A Filipina American herself, Dorothy wanted to give guests a taste of her culture and bring “America Is Not the Heart” to life.
empanada: Stuffed with longanisa, green papaya and carrot
pinkabet: Stewed vegetables with bittermelon topped with crispy pork belly
Pancit Bihon: Rice noodles wih chicken, vegetables & shrimp
Pork Barbeque: Roasted pork loin marinated in 7-Up & banana ketchup
Dessert: Tupig (sticky rice & coconut wrapped in banana leaves and roasted) with mango coulis, coconut jam & toasted coconut
wine service: Brix Detroit
all photos by Heather Saunders of Heather Saunders Photography