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Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (P.S.) by…
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Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (P.S.) (original 2009; edition 2011)

by Isabel Allende

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1,433765,251 (3.91)83
Member:edc1951
Title:Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (P.S.)
Authors:Isabel Allende
Info:Harper Perennial (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende (2009)

  1. 10
    Zorro by Isabel Allende (fiercebunny)
    fiercebunny: Isabel Allende is one my favorite Authors of all time, and Zorro is a surprising and beautifully written novel. While it is not my favorite Allende novel, it is up there and it a a fun read.
  2. 10
    Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Cecilturtle)
  3. 11
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Cast of interconnected characters are subjected to historical pressures through years-worth of events surrounding a revolution. Issues of paternity and social justice.
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English (54)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (6)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
I have consistently loved books by Allende, so I was disappointed by this one. I could not connect with any of the characters - they seemed so flat and one dimensional. The prose was not as engaging as in her past novels. I wondered if she used a different translator but it was the same one who has translated all of her works. I did learn about the slave uprising in Haiti and the atrocities committed on both sides, a part of history that I did not know much about. That probably merits another half star, but I am sticking with two stars. I most likely would not have finished it if it was not by Isabel Allende - I kept hoping for more. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
I was so bored by this book that I gave up when I was about 40% into it. The basic premise was excellent and thss could have been a fantastic book, if told in a different way. It was just a factual description of events, with very little character development and a very strange flow. I tried hard to like it, but I simply could not empathize with any character and was annoyed that such a good story was told in such a mundane way. ( )
  rivergen | Jul 3, 2015 |
Based on true historical events surrounding the time of revolution in what is now known as Haiti, this book is beautifully written. I found the characters well-rounded and the integration of historical events into a fictional story was well done, providing information and insight into the historical past without coming across as a textbook lecture. It is, at times, very difficult to read; the passages describing the inhumane and brutal treatment of the slaves are truly heartbreaking, but are, unfortunately, a reminder of a cruel and terrible truth in our history. ( )
  TracyCampbell | May 8, 2015 |
This impressive epic novel is set in the late 18th century surrounding the time of revolution in Saint-Domingue, now Haiti. It describes the colonization and slavery on the plantations. Although beautifully written, eloquent and flowing, in some parts the story is harrowing as it brings a cruel history to life. The saga is based on factual events, which makes it informative and interesting, while at the same time heartbreaking because of the brutal nature of many passages.

This passage describes the source of the title:
"Many (infants) died of tetanus, paralyzed, their jaws frozen. That was one of the island's mysteries because whites did not suffer from that disease. The masters did not suspect that those symptoms could be provoked undetected by sticking a fine needle into a soft part of the baby's head before the cranial bones harden. In that way the baby went happily to the Island Beneath the Sea without ever experiencing slavery." ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Dec 9, 2014 |
As always it's an education to read a book by Allende. Great detail, well drawn out characters and an unflinching look at life from the various plot progenitors. ( )
  libgirl69 | Oct 17, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Margaret Sayers PedenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my children, Nicolas and Lori
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In my forty years I, Zarite Sedella, have had better luck than other slaves.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061988243, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:47 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"The story of a mulatta woman, a slave and concubine, determined to take control of her own destiny in a society where that would seem impossible"--Provided by publisher.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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