Island Beneath the Sea (Wheeler Hardcover)

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9781410431684: Island Beneath the Sea (Wheeler Hardcover)
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In a novel where the setting moves from the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue to the lavish parlors of New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century, an African slave and concubine is determined to claim her own destiny against impossible odds. (historical fiction). By the author of The Sum of Our Days.

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Review:

Praise for The Sum of Our Days:

'No amount of acrobatics can out do the absolute core of Allende's talent: her gift for writing. She can bring even the most inert subjects to life, breathing vitality into them through her prose; if only books were people, her beloved daughter Paula would once again be alive and well.' The Times

'The reader is swept along by the energy of her prose, her brilliance as a story-teller, and the sheer force and warmth of personality.' Michael Jacobs, Independent

'If she wrote Paula as a redemptive exercise in grieving, “The Sum of Our Days” is written in the spirit of thanksgiving. Allende looks on with powerless awe as her grandchildren grow up and out of her control. As ever, her writing glows with generosity and affection for all those around her.' Sunday Telegraph

'Full of life and candid self-revelation "The Sum of Our Days" is a fine vivacious and inspiring memoir about moving on from tragedy and making life bright again.' Melissa Katsoulis, FT

'Positively bursting with love, hilarity and crazy good times: sex, drugs and lesbian Buddhist monks abound in this rollicking tale of the Allende clan's life in their Californian castle, and you'll feel a hundred times richer for reading.' Sunday Telegraph, 'Summer Reading’

From the Back Cover:

Born 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 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 Tete 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 Tete 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 Tete 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.

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