Thursday, May 30, 2013
Review: Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
In Island Beneath the Sea, we are introduced to Zarite, a young slave, and her new master, Toulouse Valmorain. The story starts when Zarite, called Tete, is a young girl in Haiti. Though a house slave, Tete comes to have a unique bond with her master Valmorain. She cares for his ill wife and his children. When civil war strikes the colony, it is Tete who helps Valmorain and his children escape without harm. Once they settle in New Orleans and Tete is given her freedom, she realizes that the bond she shares with Valmorain is not easily broken.
I really loved this book. I love reading about Haiti, especially the days when it was still a French colony. And Allende paints such a vivid description of life on the island. I adored her writing. It seemed to melt off the pages as I read.
Tete was such a strong willed character, and immediately likeable. She has been through so much, but still she is adamant to eventually gain her freedom. I loved the transition in her character from a young girl to a young woman in Haiti, to eventually becoming the brave woman that she becomes once settled in New Orleans. There were so many characters in the book that I really loved, but Tete was definitely my favorite.
My only complaint with the book is where it sort of went towards the end. I was turned off by what was going on, but not enough for it to really sway my opinion of the book. I don't want to explain exactly what I didn't like though, in case anyone wants to read this one. If you have read this book, then I'm sure you know what exactly I'm talking about ;)
The resounding thought in my head while reading this book and afterwards, was how even after so much pain and heartache, people can still carry on and live their lives to the best of their ability. And that is definitely something I like. I can't wait to read more by Isabel Allende!
Title: Island Beneath the Sea
Author: Isabel Allende
Date of Publication: 2010
Number of Pages: 457
Source: Personal Copy