The Island Beneath the Sea

The Island Beneath the Sea

Hardback

By (author) Isabel Allende

List price $29.84

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  • Publisher: FOURTH ESTATE LTD
  • Format: Hardback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 234mm x 48mm | 821g
  • Publication date: 29 April 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007348649
  • ISBN 13: 9780007348640
  • Sales rank: 117,231

Product description

From the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue to the lavish parlours of New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century, Isabel Allende's latest novel tells 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. 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 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 trunks and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father's plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. Against the merciless backdrop of sugar cane 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 island that will become Haiti for the decadence and opportunity of New Orleans. There, Tete finally forges a new life - but her connection to Valmorain is deeper than anyone knows and not so easily severed. Spanning four decades, Island Beneath the Sea is the moving story of one woman's determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been so battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.

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Author information

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of nine novels, including Ines of My Soul,Daughter of Fortune, and Portrait in Sepia. She has also written a collection of stories, four memoirs, and a trilogy of children's novels. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages and have become bestsellers across four continents. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Isabel Allende lives in California.

Review quote

"Island Beneath the Sea is a seductive, intoxicating saga. It starts with slavery, forbidden relationships and rebellion in Haiti, and expands to include struggles over secret children, racial castes and family heirs in Louisiana. Isabel Allende's latest novel is sweeping, provocative and impossible to put down." Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes Praise for The Sum of Our Days: 'No amount of acrobatics can outdo 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' 'Her cast is vibrant: a courtesan and the French officer who marries her; Valmorain's second wife, a Louisiana Creole; Zarite's rebel lover!Allende brings women to the forefront of the story of rebellion' Gauiutra Bahadur, Scotsman