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Island Beneath the Sea: Book summary and reviews of Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende

Island Beneath the Sea

A Novel

by Isabel Allende

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende X
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
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About this book

Book Summary

Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarite - known as Tete - 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, Tete finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in the voodoo loas 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 baggage and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father's plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. It will be eight years before he brings home a bride -- but marriage, too, proves more difficult than he imagined. And Valmorain remains dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.

Spanning four decades, Island Beneath the Sea is the moving story of the intertwined lives of Tete and Valmorain, and of one woman's determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Demand will be high for this transporting, remarkably topical novel of men and women of courage risking all for liberty." - Booklist

"Starred Review. This timely and absorbing novel is another winning Allende story filled with adventure, vivid characters, and richly detailed descriptions of life in the Caribbean at that time." - Library Journal

"The effect of such display of research is a novel that is as inert as a history textbook, much like, oddly enough John Updike's Terrorist, a novel that revealed an author who studied a voluminous amount of facts without learning a single truth." - Publishers Weekly

This information about Island Beneath the Sea was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own reviewwrite your own review

Amber

Great read
I really enjoyed Island Beneath the Sea. Isabel Allende painted a detailed picture of 19th century St Domingue (now Haiti). Although this is book is fiction, the story of a woman slave during this period was realistic. I learned much about the history of Haiti and the slave rebellion. Absolutely beautiful book, I will likely read it all over again.

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Author Information

Isabel Allende Author Biography

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of a number of bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including The House of the Spirits, Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, Paula, and In the Midst of Winter. Her books have been translated into more than forty-two languages and have sold more than seventy-four million copies worldwide. She lives in California.

Author Interview
Link to Isabel Allende's Website

Name Pronunciation
Isabel Allende: Ees-abel Ay-enday (or ä-YEN-d?)

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