Island Beneath the Sea
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Born on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarité—known as Tété—is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tété finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and the voodoo loa she discovers through her fellow slaves.
When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it’s with powdered wigs in his trunks and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father’s plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. Although Valmorain purchases young Tété for his bride, it is he who will become dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.
Against the merciless backdrop of sugarcane fields, the lives of Tété and Valmorain grow ever more intertwined. When the bloody revolution of Toussaint Louverture arrives at the gates of Saint Lazare, they flee the brutal conditions of the French colony, soon to become Haiti, for the raucous, free-wheeling enterprise of New Orleans. There Tété finally forges a new life, but her connection to Valmorain is deeper than anyone knows and not easily severed. With an impressive richness of detail, and a narrative wit and brio second to none, Allende crafts the riveting story of one woman’s determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been so battered, and to forge a new identity in the cruelest of circumstances.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
Well it's ok - good but i am a big fan. My fav would be city of the beast.
Beautiful Story Telling
In her trademark prose Isabelle takes us into the lives of slaves and plantation owners in the former French colony of Haiti. At times disturbing in its raw description of cruelty and inhuman suffering, it's enchanting and hopeful, erotic and philosophical, and political as much as a mirror on the human soul that allowed atrocities like slavery to exist for as long as it did. Spelbinding!
Evokes such a spectrum of emotions.
Difficult to put this story down was you start! Allende has such an amazing way of interweaving stories of love, terror, sadness, longing, and spirituality. Be sure to try her short story collection, Stories of Eva Luna as well.
I feel affected by sorrow and hope after reading this. My only complaint would be that I wanted to know more of the stories, more information about each of the lives she presented. Yet, it's the depth which she can maintain in such a succinct way that makes her tales so poignant and accessible to readers coming from many different perspectives.