Island Beneath the Sea

Island Beneath the Sea

A Novel

eBook - 2010
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"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.
Publisher: Pymble, NSW ; New York : HarperCollins e-books, 2010
ISBN: 9780062002891
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (466 p.)
Additional Contributors: Peden, Margaret Sayers


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Mar 27, 2020

Isabel Allende’s Island Beneath the Sea launches fearlessly into the dark history of the Haitian Revolution through the eyes of a large cast of characters revolving around the life of Tété. Known by those closest to her as Zarité, this courageous African girl is purchased as a slave by Frenchman Toulouse Valmorain, a character who manages to be simultaneously mild-mannered and wretchedly twisted. This sweeping, sobering novel grows in magnificence alongside Tété as she becomes a woman who must bear the weight of the world as a plantation slave. Tété comes to be the mother she was never afforded while she raises children with the hauntingly authentic Valmorain, a man she does not fear but must submit to for years. As the ominous violence of the Revolution nears, Tété convinces Valmorain to flee with her and the children and eventually they find themselves established in New Orleans on a new plantation. Valmorain’s white child forms an unbreakable bond with Tété’s mixed race child and both are challenged amidst the foreign climate while Tété fights for her independence. Allende effortlessly weaves together the gritty events of an emotionally intense narrative in this candid novel that spans the decades of Tété’s life.

VaughanPLErin Feb 22, 2019

An engrossing and heart-wrenching family saga, told masterfully. Allende depicts the brutality of slavery without holding back, and she writes characters who are compelling and multi-faceted. This is an excellent book club read, as the characters, situations, and historical context all made for riveting discussion. This would also be a great read if you're looking to learn about the colonization and slavery that took place in Haiti and so many other island nations during the late 1700s and early 1800s, from the perspective of the oppressed.

Jul 31, 2016

Allende is awesome, as usual, but this one just goes on and on.

M_ALCOTT Sep 29, 2015

I really appreciate a well written story or novel; especially when I'm a virgin to the writing of a particular author. And "Island Beneath the Sea" is my first Isabel Allende novel. The characters and the story are interesting. Allende knows how to weave the historical details with the fiction.

Aggie3 Sep 12, 2013

This is one of the books that grip you from the first chapter. This story is intriguing, mysterious, full of sorrow, pain, love, tragedy, triumph and happiness. Full of details and mesmerizing, this book awakens your soul. Isabel Allende is very talented.

Aug 15, 2013

I loved this book! Moving between New Orleans and El Caribe, the author explores the history of the slave trade, slave loyalty and slave owner relationships. These types of books are fascinating looks into the character of people and relationships and a reminder that one can't have it all, all the time. Beautifully written.

JCLAshleyF Apr 12, 2013

The novel opens in Saint-Domingue (modern day Haiti) on the eve of revolution and portrays the life and experiences of a resilient woman, named Tete. The story spans four decades and explores her experiences as a slave in Saint-Domingue, Cuba, and New Orleans. I found this book to be a mix of engaging and meandering.

patienceandfortitude Nov 06, 2012

This is like Uncle Tom's Cabin for Haiti, which is a deep compliment. My first experience reading Allende and I really enjoyed it. At times she seemed just a tad too politically correct, but that is a minor complaint about a good read which really taught me a lot about the history of Haiti.

wick3dang3l175 Mar 27, 2012

Loved this book. Full of history, emotion and a vivid story line.

tracythelibrarian Nov 28, 2011

Allende breaks the rule of 'show don't tell' but this richly layered novel is still deeply engrossing.

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M_ALCOTT Sep 29, 2015

“Not all Negroes are slaves, nor all slaves black. Africa is a continent of free people. Millions of Africans are subjected to slavery but many more are free. Slavery is not their destiny, just as is also the case with thousands of whites who are slaves.”-Dr. Parmentier, Island Beneath the Sea


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