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Island Beneath the Sea

Cover of Island Beneath the Sea

Island Beneath the Sea

A Novel
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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. When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, he purchases young TÉtÉ for his bride. Yet it is he who will become dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.

Against the merciless backdrop of sugar cane fields, the lives of TÉtÉ and Valmorain grow ever more intertwined. When the bloody revolution of Toussaint Louverture arrives, they flee the brutal conditions of the French colony that will 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. Isabel 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 her own identity in the cruelest of circumstances.

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. When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, he purchases young TÉtÉ for his bride. Yet it is he who will become dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.

Against the merciless backdrop of sugar cane fields, the lives of TÉtÉ and Valmorain grow ever more intertwined. When the bloody revolution of Toussaint Louverture arrives, they flee the brutal conditions of the French colony that will 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. Isabel 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 her own identity in the cruelest of circumstances.

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About the Author-
  • Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of eight novels, including, most recently, Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. She has also written a collection of stories; three memoirs, including My Invented Country and Paula; 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.

    Nacida en PerÚ y criada en Chile, Isabel Allende es la autora de nueve novelas incluyendo mÁs recientemente Zorro, Retrato en Sepia, Hija de la Fortuna e InÉs del Alma MÍa. TambiÉn ha escrito cuentos cortos, tres libros autobiogrÁficos incluyendo Mi PaÍs Inventado y Paula, y una trilogÍa de libros para jÓvenes. Sus libros han sido traducidos a mÁs de 27 idiomas y son bestsellers a travÉs del mundo entero. En 2004, fue nombrada a la Academia de Artes y Letras de los Estados Unidos. Vive en California.

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  • AudioFile Magazine This story of prostitution, colonialism, and a woman's quest to live independently is told with feeling by S. Epatha Merkerson. Her slightly deep voice lends the novel a mythical quality, illustrating the spirit of the times in the late eighteenth century. Merkerson deals adeptly with the French names scattered throughout the text without breaking the rhythm of the story. She also varies her pace, speeding up and slowing down to indicate shifts in viewpoint from female to male characters. The different emphases also ensure that listeners can differentiate the wide-ranging cast throughout the span of story, which includes two main characters as well as several who appear only in brief scenes. M.R. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
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Island Beneath the Sea
Island Beneath the Sea
A Novel
Isabel Allende
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