"Marrying Roque" (pr. Row-key) is the author''s story of meeting and later marrying a young Filipino who leaves his family to emigrate to the U.S. in the 1920''s to pursue his dream to become a lawyer. Their relationship begins when Sylvia, a young Jewish girl seeking work in Depression Era L.A., gets a job in Roque''s office. "I''d never before known a Filipino," she wrote. She''d heard hateful slurs against them, belittling their size and dress. As time goes on, she becomes intrigued, not only with her "boss," but with the food and culture of the Philippines.
Roque''s charm and personality eventually win Sylvia over. Although realizing that her family is very much against this interracial relationship, Sylvia nevertheless follows her heart and marries Roque. Anti-miscegenation laws in California force them to wed out of state.
Set against a background of an intolerant society and conflicting cultural values, the marriage later becomes problematic. With insight and compassion, Sylvia narrates their struggles. The author''s honesty and adventuresome spirit make this memoir most interesting and revealing.