Posted by Merry Mao on 15th July 2010
Title: Island Beneath the Sea
Author: Isabel Allende
Publisher: Harper, April 2010
Summary: Island Beneath the Sea follows a young woman named Zarité thrown into slavery in 18th century Haiti. Known by most as Tété, she is chosen to become housekeeper for Toulouse Valmorain, an unpredictable plantation entrepreneur and his wife, Eugenia, a woman slowly being dissolved into madness by the harsh living conditions and constant threat of political uprisings. The story follows Tété, who is likeable and sweet, but also conflicted and strong, as she struggles to become a free woman while desperately trying to keep her family intact and protect all those who have helped her.
Staying true to her roots, Allende creates an emotional story of romance, politics, and fantasy using an outstanding cast of characters. At times, the book can be a roller coaster- the defeats are particularly harsh and the accomplishments incredibly satisfying, reminding the reader that life is not always just. At approximately 500 pages, be prepared to devote at least a few weeks to the book. The characters -since their relationships are generally unconfirmed and many appear sporadically- take some time to get to know, but it is well worth the effort.
Who will like this book? Those who like literature and character development- though not as tough as 100 Years of Solitude, a large number of characters come into play, and the book moves rather slowly at times (which is not a particularly bad thing!). Also, those who like reading about exotic places, history, and politics. Similar books would include Honolulu by Alan Brennert and Portrait in Sepia, also by Allende.
If you like this, try this: Honolulu by Alan Brennert, Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende, Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
Recommended by: LB, Circulation Assistant
Tags: 2010 Releases, Cuba, Haiti, Louisiana, Magic, Slavery, War
Posted in Fiction, Historical, Latin American Literature, Literary, Politics | No Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 4th October 2008
Title: Lost Girls
Author: George D. Shuman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, September 2008
Summary: Sherry Moore is a blind woman with a unique gift. She has the ability to see the last 18 seconds of a deceased person’s memory, simply by touching their hand. When Sherry’s best friend. Admiral Garland Brigham, asks her to help rescuers searching for a lost climbing team on Mt. McKinley, she agrees. One member of the team has been spotted on a ridge, frozen to death during an unexpected storm. When Sherry holds the hand of the dead climber, Sergio Mendoza, she is able to direct the rescuers to the cave where the other climbers have taken refuge from the storm. Sergio’s last memories are not only of the deadly climb. While holding his hand she sees visions of a castle in a jungle and young women confined in cages and chained to walls. Admiral Brigham realizes that Sherry has seen the images of victims of human traffickers and Sergio Mendoza was somehow involved.
Now a young, rich American girl has gone missing during an excursion from a cruise ship, and is later found by a boater off the shore of the Dominican Republic. The victim bears the same voodoo tattoo on her cheek that Sherry had seen on the victims in Mendoza’s memory. Sherry is called upon again and the memories this young girl holds are very similar to the memories of Mendoza. It is now up to Sherry, Brigham, the young victim’s mother, and the few people they find along the way who are willing to risk their lives to battle the criminals responsible for the horrible crimes against these women. This is a fast paced story that takes you from the mountains to the jungle in no time.
Who will like this book? People who like thrillers with a bit of the supernatural thrown in.
Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator
Tags: Crime, Haiti, Human Trafficking
Posted in Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »