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Easter Island Easter Island Easter Island

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,334 Ratings  ·  250 Reviews
In this extraordinary fiction debut--rich with love and betrayal, history and intellectual passion--two remarkable narratives converge on Easter Island, one of the most remote places in theworld.
It is 1913. Elsa Pendleton travels from England to Easter Island with her husband, an anthropologist sent by the Royal Geographical Society to study the colossal moai statues, and
ebook, 450 pages
Published June 27th 2003 by Dial Press (first published 2003)
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Tea Jovanović
One of my favourite picks for Serbian market... Good book, good story that deserves to be read for years and years... I'm sorry to see that none of my Goodreads friends has read it yet... :( But you can always change that... Published by Narodna knjiga - Alfa, 10 years ago... Let say for those who liked THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS...
Dec 30, 2012 Mathew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
150 pages in, I'm really enjoying Easter Island. It has a patient, quiet narrative and masterful grasp of subject matter (botany, taxonomy, evolution and science in general) that is unassailable and reminiscent of Sacred Hunger. It also maintains an excellent balance and synergy between the parallel narratives of Elsa and Greer. It always seems a danger, to me, in this construct that one storyline will become dominant or just more interesting than the other. But so far, alternating, I always fin ...more
Nov 07, 2010 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book absolutely delighted me. I went into it with no expectations - it was a random selection from the library - and I finished it a little blown away. I have a feeling this is what The Conquest by Yxta Maya Murray wanted to be - a fictional novel that wraps science and fact into its tale - but where The Conquest stumbled, Easter Island soars. The characters are flawed and not entirely likable, the plot comfortable and not especially surprising, and the ending is not tied up in a little bow ...more
Jul 14, 2010 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my what can I say about this book, except I seriously don't recommend it. Although it presents very interesting history and facts of Easter Island I would have been better off reading Wikipeadia. If you want to read about every scientific plant species grown on the island since it's volanic conception, go ahead and be my guest.

I kept waiting for the three separate stories to blend and make a wonderful marriage somewhere along the way, but geez by the last couple chapters I kept looking back
The name Easter Island evokes a sense of mystery and romanticism. The book Easter Island delivers on both accounts.

Begin with an oceanic island fifteen hundred miles from any other landmass, one that had taken thousands of years for plant life to reach its shores and much longer before human life managed to land there. Add in two women, separated by sixty years as their parallel stories are told, each brought to Easter Island - one an Englishwoman who accompanies her anthropologist husband and
Jan 20, 2013 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this historical fiction. It is becomming my favorite genera, and with stories like this one it makes it totally worth my time.

This story was written with three different sub stories involved. All of them converging on Easter Island on two different time lines. One story is about Elsa Beasley, her husband Edward and her sister Alice. Alice is what we call today a special needs individual. I could not exactly say what was wrong with her, but she was a high matenance charge. The
Feb 23, 2013 Candice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ellen, Barbara (maybe)
This is my kind of book! I love it when two or more stories come together like this. Easter Island is the story of two women who went to the island and did research. But the two women's stories are 60 years apart. There is also a small thread of a German World War I naval squadron present in the book.

Elsa Beazley arrives at Easter Island in 1916 with her new husband and her mentally handicapped sister. Her story was inspired by the true story of Katherine Scoresby Routledge and her husband. Elsa
Ron Charles
Nov 27, 2013 Ron Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's comforting to imagine that aliens placed those inscrutable statues on Easter Island. Such a theory protects us from the more haunting implications about human nature. The tiny island, 2,300 miles west of Chile, was settled around 400 A.D. Its early inhabitants - with or without extraterrestrial assistance - carved more than 600 giant faces from volcanic rock and then dragged them to the shore. Some weigh almost 90 tons.

In her gorgeous debut novel, "Easter Island," Jennifer Vanderbes has att
Aug 04, 2011 Kerith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Easter Island is one of those mysterious places that I've always found fascinating, likely because of the sheer distance away that it is. A novel like this merely whets my appetite. The author moves between the two stories, each of a woman who travels to Easter Island after a huge change in life -- Elsa Beazley after her marriage of convenience in the beginning of the 20th century and Greer Farraday decades later in the 70s, after the death of her husband. As each finds her place and true callin ...more
Jan 28, 2014 Virpi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, I had high hopes for this book: it all sounded so intriguing. I've always been interested in novels that mix facts with fiction - it's a facsinating way of learning new things. But, I must say, this book was a disappointment. The style of writing wasn't very gripping and for the longest time I just kept expecting the story to become interesting at some point. In the end, the two stories - Elsa's and Greer's - were very loosely - too loosely - knit together. And the whole story of the Germa ...more
Tiana Harris
May 18, 2013 Tiana Harris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book read too much like a textbook, so I skimmed through quite a bit of it. The only thing that kept me reading was to find out the answers to the few mysteries in the book, and then was quite disappointed at the vague answers that were revealed. I don't like it when authors leave endings up to the readers to figure out. Give me a definite ending, let the characters in the book actually find the answers to the questions asked throughout the book! I also hate when the theory of evolution is ...more
Mar 16, 2010 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this years ago, when it came out in 2003. It became one of those books that I will never forget, and periodically I look to see whether the author has managed to sneak anoather title out while I wasn't looking. (She hasn't until this year, when in August 2010, Scribner is publishing Strangers at the Feast, which has already garnered several five-star ratings.)

This particular book struck such a chord because it was about a graduate student trying to make headway with her research and disc
Dec 29, 2008 Maya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-2008
Yet another book about two sisters? What is with me! Strangely, this book has been sitting on my shelf unread since I bought it when it was originally published; yet I suddenly felt moved to pick it up and read it. The unconscious drive to sisterhood yet again.

I'm sorry it took me so long, as this was a carefully crafted story; if nothing else, the research that went into the writing of this novel is to be admired. The story moves back and forth between two female protagonists sixty years apart.
Mark Valentine
Mar 12, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How I can tell this is a powerful and influencing book for me is how it spawns my interest in reading other books related to it; finishing it today and inspired by it, my library gave me four other books (Darwin's, The Voyage of the Beagle, Flenley and Bahn's, The Enigmas of Easter Island, Thor Heyerdahl's, Easter Island: The Mystery Revealed, and Van Tilberg's, Among Stone Giants: The Life of Katherine Routledge and Her Remarkable Expedition to Easter Island). Even Jared Diamond has a chapter o ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Booknblues rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite reading experiences is when I find a book on my aging and towering TBR shelf that I love. I had been in a bit of a reading slump, starting many books without them holding my interest beyond the first few pages when I spotted Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes on my shelf and decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did as it has so much of what I love in a book, exotic locale, storied layer in two times, interesting and well developed characters and an opportunity to learn.

The bo
Todd Stockslager
Jun 05, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Botanico-historical fiction works pretty well in this debut by Vanderbes. She inserts the story of a fictional 1913 British husband-and-wife (and her younger psychologically-challenged sister and ward) expedition to the island into the still-unresolved historical and ecological context of the island. The story then cuts back and forth to 1973, when a widowed American botanist comes to the Island to help solve the mystery of where the trees went (Easter Island has had no trees in its recorded his ...more
Abby Vegas
Jun 13, 2015 Abby Vegas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one book that I didn't want to put down. Told as parallel tales (one in the distant past, another more contemporary), Easter Island is a compelling and suspenseful novel. The story has so many facets to it - courage, feminism, family, anthropology, botany... I don't know how Jennifer Vanderbes managed to tie it all together but she did a fantastic job. This is a stay-up-all-night-to-finish-it book.
Mike Heyd
Nov 18, 2015 Mike Heyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose I have been fascinated by Easter Island since I saw the first picture of a maoi many decades ago and certainly since I read Aku-Aku. This novel weaves together two scientific expeditions to the island, one in the early 20th century and the other near the end of its third quarter, cleverly connecting them with a third narrative. All are based more or less on historical events. Some readers will find the scientific parts of the narrative a little dry, but the book is based on good histor ...more
Suzanne Skelly
Jan 21, 2015 Suzanne Skelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This delightful novel is the story of two different women drawn to Easter Island by science 60 years apart.

Elsa Beazley in 1913 follows her newly acquired , much older husband, Edward, anthropologist who has been sent by the Royal Geographic Society to research the famous statues known as Moi. Elsa does her own research, takes care of her special needs sister and unravels many of the island's mysteries.

In the 1070's Greer Farraday, a recently widowed scientist, inspired by the study of the puzzl
Jun 26, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this novel. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in historical fiction, botany, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and its mysteries, naval battles in World War I, and/or Darwin. It is a wonderful book!
Mary Burns
Nov 30, 2014 Mary Burns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting view of women in science, from the perspectives of two different generations. The historical piece included an unusual love story and linked Elsa Beazley to the discovery of the secret behind the stone figures or moai, and also a first world war German naval commander. In the interwoven contemporary story, a woman, Greer, is forced into the field by her scientist husband's treachery. The lives of the two women seem to touch only in their mutual interest in Darwin and Easter Isla ...more
Sep 05, 2008 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Fabulous book that combines great characters, science, history, psychology, mystery. A wonderful read!
Stephen Kiernan
Mar 05, 2012 Stephen Kiernan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, vivid, compelling. As skillful with narrative lines as Stegner's Angle of Repose.
Feb 12, 2014 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I already reviewed this but maybe not, so here goes:

I liked this, and thought it was interesting, the three narratives of people interacting with Easter Island were varied, detailed, and moderately compelling. But still and all, I found the book kind of boring-- I think that Vanderbes made a decision to sort of spare us childish drama and emotional hysterics in her book, letting everyone act like adults. But that means what conflicts there are-- the 1970s woman discovering her husban
Donovan Richards
The Locals Call It Rapa Nui

A solitary land mass with its closest neighbor over 1,200 miles away, Easter Island is famously known for its moai statues – monolithic figures erected throughout the island. Along with the rongorongo – a series of undeciphered written tablets found in the caves of Easter Island – the moai remain in imaginations worldwide for the mysterious nature behind their creation. Perhaps obviously but nevertheless in need of stating, this famed island provides a backdrop for Jen
Cheryl A
In 1913, Elsa Pendleton is left as guardian of her mentally challenged sister Alice after the death of their father. With diminished finances, Elsa accepts the offer of marriage to Edward Beazley, a contemporary of her father and a professor. When Edward decides to mount an expedition to Easter Island, Elsa and Alice join him on the adventure, with Elsa hoping that a new environment will help her come to terms with decisions she has had to make.

In 1973, Greer Farraday is also off to Easter Islan
Jul 26, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Due west of central Chile ... some 1500 miles or so....lies the volcanic island known as Easter Island. Who built the famous "moai" that now lie toppled over the treeless landscape? Why are some standing, most on the ground? What happened here to cause this destruction of what appear to be important monuments?

Three story lines are used to tell about the biogeographical history of the island: An English couple live in a seaside tent to study the "moai" and the meanings of the "rongorongo"' wooden
Jan 06, 2013 Steph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have an acute desire to visit Easter Island since learning about it a couple years ago through Nicholas Sparks' "Three Weeks with my Brother", so I was thrilled when I learned about this fictional novel that takes place on the island. I enjoyed "Easter Island" greatly, I found it difficult to put down and was sad when it was over. I really needed a novel like this to kick off my new year after a few slow and tedious reads in 2012. "Easter Island" was brimming with scientific research and jargo ...more
Debra Humphrey
Aug 11, 2012 Debra Humphrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Feminists, Historical Buffs
Recommended to Debra by: Pasadena Public Library
I started working at the Pasadena Public Library in February 2008 and in April, the author Jennifer Vanderbes walked into my office - "Easter Island" was our One City, One Story book selection that year. I liked the book, but I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. The book is about two women who have traveled to Easter Island: Elsa, who goes there with her new husband and her mentally disabled sister just before World War I, and Greer, who goes there in the 1970's as a female scientist looki ...more
Jun 24, 2008 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like: history; anthropology; travel
Recommended to Beth by: The City of Pasadena
I read this book as part of Pasadena's "One City, One Book" program and was lucky enough to meet the author at a luncheon at our fabulous bookstore, Vroman's. I really enjoyed this book for many reasons, many of which come down to the author's quest for accuracy. Although Jennifer Vanderbes does not have a background in science, she was meticulous in her research on botany and field work and that hard work is apparent in her "spot on" depictions of both academic and research life in general and ...more
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Jennifer Vanderbes received her B.A. in English Literature from Yale and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her first novel, Easter Island, was named a "best book of 2003" by the Washington Post and Christian Science Monitor and was translated into 16 languages. Her second novel, Strangers at the Feast, was called "a thriller that also raises
large and haunting question
More about Jennifer Vanderbes...

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