Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (Hardcover)
“Allende is a master storyteller at the peak of her powers.”
— Los Angeles Times
From the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue to the lavish parlors of New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende (Inés of My Soul, The House of the Spirits, Portrait in Sepia) tells the story of a mulatta woman, a slave and concubine, determined to take control of her own destiny.
Born a slave 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. Tété surivves a childhood of brutality and fear, finding solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in her exhilarating initiation into the mysteries of voodoo.
When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, he discovers that running his father’s plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. Marriage also proves problematic when, eight years later, he brings home a bride. But it is his teenaged slave Tété who becomes Valmorain's most inportant confindant.
A heartwrenching and powerful story story of an extraordinary woman who forges her identity and finds love and freedom under the cruelest of circumstances. Isabelle Allende has done it again.
About the Author
Isabel Allende is the author of twelve works of fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and a novel that has become a world-renowned classic, The House of the Spirits. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.
“[An] entertaining sweep...The canvas contains no less than the revolutionary history of the world’s first black republic...Allende revels in period details...Her cast is equally vibrant...”
— New York Times Book Review
“Exuberant passions, strong heroines and intricate plots...a world as enchanted—and enchanting—as it is brutal and unjust... A page-turning drama.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“Enthralling, blood-chilling, and heart-breaking…Island Beneath the Sea is a historical novel which works brilliantly in conveying the cyclone that was the eighteenth century.”
— The Huffington Post
“…with gorgeous place descriptions, a keen eye for history and a predilection for high drama…There are few more charming storytellers in the world than Isabel Allende.”
“Timely and absorbing…filled with adventure, vivid characters, and richly detailed descriptions of life in the Caribbean.”
— Library Journal
“A lush epic of racism and rebellion which begins in Saint-Domingue (today’s Haiti)…In a culture of violence, Tété proves that ingenuity can be as heroic as love.”
— Cathleen Medwick, More magazine
“Epic scope and sweep…[Allende’s] characters, linked by blood, love triangles and even incest, have a depth and complexity that…imbues the proceedings with a lushness bordering on magic realism.”
— Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
“Two remarkable women whose destinies are entwined face the chaos of this time [eighteenth century Saint-Domingue]. . . . Uncannily relevant.”
“A remarkable feat of prescience. . . . Island Beneath the Sea is rich in drama, setting, themes, characters, dialogue and symbolism . . . an intriguing and wonderfully woven story.”
— San Antonio Express-News
An entrancing and astute storyteller…In a many-faceted plot, Allende animates irresistible characters authentic in their emotional turmoil and pragmatic adaptability…while masterfully dramatizing the psychic wounds of slavery.”
— Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)