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Island Beneath the Sea

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  17,700 ratings  ·  2,140 reviews

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. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tété finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in the voodoo loas she discovers through her fellow slaves.

When twenty-y

Hardcover, 457 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Harper (first published 2009)
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The Book Thief by Markus ZusakGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensThe Help by Kathryn Stockett
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Huda Yahya

في هذه الجزيرة المسحورة تحت البحر
تتعانق أرواحٌ سمراء
راقصين فيها إلى الأبد
على دقات طبول لا مرئية
فهم يحملون الإيقاعات في أرواحهم

العالم يهتز
الايقاع يولد في الجزيرة تحت البحر
يهز الأرض
يخترقني كوميض برق ويمضي إلى السماء
حاملًا أحزاني كي يمضغها بابا بوندي ويبتلعها
ويخلقني نظيفة من الهموم وسعيدة
الطبول تهزم الخوف
والطبول هي إرث أمي
إنها قوة غينيا التي في دمي
الطبول مقدسة، من خلالها تتكلم اللوات

ارقصي يا زاريتيه
لأن العبد الذي يرقص عبد حر
طالما هو يرقص

Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Take the rich historical settings of Haiti and New Orleans. Toss in voodoo ceremonies, zombies, bloody slave uprisings, forbidden loves, pirates, spies, fortune-tellers, hurricanes, epidemics, and a pinch of scandal. Place all of this is Isabel Allende's gifted hands, and what's not to love?

This book took some time and concentration to get through, but when I got to the end I found myself wanting more, more, more. I wanted to know what happens to Tete and Zacharie and Maurice and their families
Mohamed Al Marzooqi
يمكن اعتبار هذه الرواية التي كتبتها الروائية التشيلية إيزابيل الليندي بوحي من التاريخ الاستعماري لجزيرة هاييتي، إحدى أبلغ الشهادات ضد الممارسات الاستعمارية الوحشية إدانة وتأثيراً. ومن الدّال أن الليندي تنذر رواية كاملة وطويلة لصياغة هذه الشهادة وبلورتها في شكلٍ يكسبها قوة دامغة، ويحولها إلى ما يشبه اللعنة الأبدية لأوروبا وتعاملها مع الإنسان ــ غير الأبيض ــ لا في بلدٍ محدد وواحد، مثل هاييتي، بل في كل ما طالته أياديها من بُلدانٍ احتلتها / استعمرتها.

كان هاييتي هو الاسم الذي يطلقه السكان الأصليون ع
Claire Grasse
Sep 14, 2010 Claire Grasse rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: practically no one
The flyleaf review on this book promised that it was written with all kinds of "native wit and brio." sic. Well, I fear this surfeit of wit and brio was somehow waylaid between press and the bookstand, because I'm halfway through, and now hoping I can find the grim stamina to just hang on and finish this book that somehow manages to feel damp and depressing, even in the cheeriest of chapters.

Allende uses language beautifully. She paints vivid word portraits of places and times I've never been t
May 31, 2011 Kim marked it as to-read
Recommended to Kim by:
Thursday evening, May 6th, I had the good fortune to attend a talk and reading by the most famous living Latin American author. Isabel Allende read from her new novel Island Beneath the Sea at the Atlanta History Center to an auditorium full of fans. She was a delight!!

It had been years since someone had read to me and I had quite forgotten what a pleasure that can be. Author Allende reading her new book in her wonderful Latin American accent made for one of the most pleasurable evenings out I h
Tynan Power
Extraordinary book about race, slavery, Haiti and New Orleans, as well as what it means to be family, by blood, by fate and by choice. It begins in 18th century Haiti (prior to when it was called Haiti) and ends in New Orleans after the Louisiana Purchase. In the first part of the book, it chronicles the slave revolts that led to the creation of Haiti as the first independent black ("negro") nation. In the second part, it keeps Haiti in the background while following the main characters in New O ...more
Clif Hostetler
This book contains two major themes. First, it is a historical novel describing the Haitian slave rebellion (1791–1804) and New Orleans' Creole society and culture of the same era. Second, the book provides a clever fictional plot that shows the ironic difficulties that can arise in a strictly racially segregated slave holding society where there's an in between mulatto class who are blood relatives to both black and whites, and everybody pretends the relationships don't exist.

I enjoyed the stor
الجزيرة تحت البحر

الفاتنة التشيلية من جديد، اقرأ كتبها مفرقة وببطء، كأنني لا أريد لهذه الرحلة أن تنتهي، كما ظهر أثر التقدم على العمر وسنوات الكتابة على يوسا في روايته الأخيرة (حلم السلتي)، يظهر ذلك الآن على ايزابيل في روايتها هذه.

لا... ليست سيئة، الرواية أفضل من عشرات الروايات التي تثقل الرفوف، ولكنك تقرأ لإيزابيل منذ عقد الآن، فلذا تشعر بأن هناك شيء ما مفقود، حرارة، شعلة، شيء كان يجوس في كتبها الأولى، تلك التفاصيل التي كانت تصوغها بحدب، تبدو الآن باهتة قليلاً.

هذه رواية عن العبودية، عن زاريتيه
Tariq Alferis
.من الصعب كتابة انطباع عن الرواية، الفاتنة تكتب عن بؤس القرن الثامن عشر والتاسع عشر لجزيرة هايتي، بصدق قرأت عن هايتي تاريخيًا هلبا كُتب، لكن الكتاب هذا هو الأفضل من ناحية كُل شيء، من المؤسف أنه جماعة "الرواية لاتبنى أو لاتُقدم ثقافة"" حاتفوت عليهم واجد حاجات ،صدقت الرفيقة "إيمان عندما قالت" من ينتقد الرواية ويعتبرها تافهة لم يقرأ بعد "الرواية..!!
هناك جملة مليحة لويليام ستايرون كاتب أمريكي…تنطبق على الرواية هذي..:
“الكتاب العظيم المفترض ان يتركك بتجارب عديدة ومرهقا نوعا ما بنهايته, فانت تعيش حيوات
Yazeed AlMogren
عن بؤس العبودية عن القتال في سبيل الحرية وعن قصة تحرير هاييتي تتحدث هذه الرواية.
أحد أفضل روايات ايزابيل اللندي التي قرأتها حتى الآن، تسرد ايزابيل فيها قصة أول جمهورية نشأت بعد أن ثار العبيد فيها وتتحدث عن معاناة العبيد وكيف كان الانسان يباع كسلعة بسبب اختلاف لون بشرته، الرواية ممتعة وذات أحداث مترابطة بأسلوب شيّق وبطريقة غير مملة.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy Miller
This novel follows the lives of two characters; Toulouse Valmorian, a French aristocrat who moves to Haiti in the late 1700s to run a plantation and Tete, a young slave he purchases to care for his new bride.

Allende paints a compelling view of slavery in Haiti and shows how it corrupts the souls of the slaveowners and contrasts that with the dignity that many slaves retain despite the brutality inflicted upon them.
Allende also focuses on the children who are born from the rape of slaves by thei
Three & a half stars.

Isabel Allende is a passionate, confident storyteller. To read her sweeping historical fiction is to surrender to high drama and romance.

I first knew Allende as a writer of magical realism with works like Eva Luna and Of Love and Shadows, in which she intertwines contemporary political drama with strokes of the surreal and mystical. But her debut novel, The House of the Spirits, published in 1982 and the epics which followed, such as Daughter of Fortune, Portrait in Se
بثينة العيسى

الرواية جميلة نعم، ولكنها ليست مدهشة .. ربما الخطأ خطئي، لأنني أقرأ لـ إيزابيل الليندي بإخلاص منقطع النظير، وقد وجدت أن هذه الرواية لم تختلف عن كثير من سابقاتها، من حيث الأجواء والتفاصيل التي تحشو بها عالمها الروائي، والأدوات السردية التي وظفتها الكاتبة لصناعة هذا العالم ..

إيزابيل الليندي ما زالت تكتب العالم " المدهش سابقا / المكرر حالياً " الذي كتبته في ابنة الحظ، و إنيس حبيبة روحي، وبيت الأرواح .. باستثناء أنها تكتب هذه المرة عن العبودية .. والمشكلة، أنني لم أحس بخصوصية محور العبودية ولا بصد
طاهر الزهراني
الجزيرة تحت البحر لإيزابيل الليندي هي الدليل والبرهان لإجادة المرأة للسرد الملحمي وحجة دامغة في وجه من ينفي الإبداع عن المرأة
العمل ساحر إلى درجة العيش، التفاصيل تجعلك تذوق وتسمع وتشم وتحس وتشاهد، الذي يريد أن يعرف القدرة السرديةالإبداعية لدى إيزابيل الليندي فليقرأ هذا الرواية
Miss J
I can't repeat it enough; this book is captivating. For me, it was truly plunging into a pool and arriving in 18th century Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) in just one page! Can you believe it? That's how good the writing was!
This is the first book I read by Isabel Allende. In the beginning, I was intimidated, because I heard many people say that her writing is difficult to understand, but I have to disagree. This book is very easy to follow. Encouraged, I might just go to the library next week and bo
Kellie Lambert
I thought I would never finish a split personality friend, the first 250 pages were a drag and the last 250 were epic!

This is a big feat, my friends, to have finished this book. I'm serious. Somebody throw me a party, because for a 500 page book (which is usually no big deal), this one felt like Moby Dick, minus the whale. It was that slow. I almost gave up on it, but kept returning to it because I had spent $10 on the e-book and it was recommended to me, so there's that.

But hey, I

لا بد أنه أحد كتب أوبرا المفضلة.
ايزابيل هنا انتصرت للعبودية التي ستظل وصمة عار على جبين الانسان الأبيض تحديداً. الرواية تنطلق أحداثها في سان دومانغ أو تاهيتي أغنى مستعمرة في العالم حيث يعامل العبيد بأقسى ما يمكن للشر أن يصل و للشيطان أن يرضى. هناك السوط و هناك النار و هناك الحديد و القضبان. و عبر أربعة عقود تمضي ايزابيل يداً بيد مع البطلة الرئيسية لازاريتيه أو تيتي حيث تقوم بسرد مأساتها الشخصية و التي تنجح في تمثيل المآسي الأخرى. الرواية جميلة خصوصاً لمناهضي العنصرية و لمحبي ايزابيل . لازالت ايز
I've loved Isabel Allende since college. According to the New York Times, they had to create a whole new genre of fiction for her, "magical feminism," because magical realism was all male. This book, however, does not have that magical quality that her earlier writing has. It reads more like a newspaper account of the life of a slave as she moves from pre-revolutionary Haiti through the revolution and on to New Orleans with her master after he loses his plantation on Haiti.

It's important stuff t
Nov 19, 2010 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Really more of a 2.5, it was improved by a slightly stronger ending and the occasional pleasure Allende's traditinal lyrical writing style. But most of this book pissed me off. It read like Allende's first draft; the plot was all over the place and she would introduce a major plot element several chapters the events were supposed to have happened. Allende's main character, and most of the other characters, were two-dimensional, which makes sense because the whole book felt like it was written as ...more
Isabel Allende adds an air of magic and tragedy to every book she writes, and this one is no exception.
Island Beneath the Sea is the story of Haiti before its liberation, when African slaves labored under hideous and unspeakable conditions on the sugar cane plantations owned by Europeans.

Allende draws us beautiful and complex portraits for each of the main characters - a slave girl who struggles to gain her freedom and the rebel slave she loves, a tough but tender-hearted mulatto courteson, the
It's pretty unusual for me to give up on a book, but I'm setting this one aside. I don't exactly have a choice, since it's a library book that can't be renewed because other people are waiting for it. The three weeks I've had the book would have been more than enough time to finish it, though, if it had only captured my imagination. The characters are two dimensional at best, and Allende spends so much time on exposition that 80 pages into the book, almost nothing has happened. There have, howev ...more
Hmm… Interesting book that made me think, but I just didn’t love it. I think there were two reasons for this.

It’s primarily the epic story of a white plantation owner in Haiti and a child slave that he purchases. The story starts in 1780(ish), covers thirty(ish) years, and happens against the revolt of the island’s slaves.

The history was fascinating and disturbing. The nation was clearly doomed from the start and the differences in how the slaves were treated (and why) was appalling. I was inte
Sep 17, 2010 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone

I am an unabashed fan of Isabel Allende and have read all of her novels. Recently she has toned down the magical realism that was such a strong flavor in her early books and I don't guess she has ever topped The House of the Spirits, but as a storyteller she always excels. Truthfully the magic is still there because the people whose stories she tells believe in it as part of life.

Island Beneath the Sea, set in late 1700s Saint-Domingue (which became Haiti) is the story of Zarite, a sugar plant
Bookmarks Magazine
Readers and critics often revere the Chilean-born Allende for her grand, sweeping, magical realism novels, but many reviewers expressed some disappointment with this latest offering. The Miami Herald critic noted: "The prose is too often the mating of a celeb magazine and a master's thesis," and several agreed the book felt overwritten. Others were unimpressed by the characters' lack of complexity and believability. On a positive note, many critics enjoyed the storytelling, with women at the for ...more
May 23, 2010 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
Isabel Allende's sensually woven tale of colonial Haiti and Louisiana is a great yarn. With a decidedly female perspective on the experiences of the characters, this is a page turner. Her characters though often under-developed, are fascinating and their experiences are compelling and her setting on a sugar plantation in Haiti during the bloody slave uprising in the late 1700's and then on to New Orleans, Louisiana in the early 1800's are richly told and fascinating to consider. A rich re-tellin ...more
Gail Cooke
For fans of television’s popular series Law & Order S. Epatha Merkerson is a familiar name. However, although her six year stay as Lt. Anita Van Buren on that program brought her many accolades, it is only a small part of her resume.

Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Merkerson was a dance major at Wayne State University until a friend asked her to come to attend the friend’s drama class. It was there that she discovered what she truly wanted to do. So, after graduation she headed for New York Cit
إيزابيل اللندي...تلك الفاتنة...هي الوصفة الناجعة القادرة على إخراجي لعوالم أستغرق فيها بكلي...رغم أن أسلوبها بات لي واضحا و معتمدا على خطوط متشابهة ومشتركة، فقد قرأت لها ابنة الحظ وصورة عتيقة، والثلاثة تكاد تتشابه في الأسلوب...لدرجة أنني وجدت ألفة كبيرة مع روايتها الأخيرة "الجزيرة تحت البحر"...فجميعها تحتشد بالكثير الكثير من الأحداث التاريخية والشخوص والتفاصيل في سبكة سردية رائعة، والتي تربط بينها إيزابيل بذكاء فلا تكاد تغيب شخصية حتى تظهر ثانية وبمبررات ودوافع قويّة.

خلفية اللندي التاريخية هذه
First of all, I have to say I listened to the audiobook in Italian, read by an actress who unfortunately did a terrible job. She read the whole thing with a tone of amused delight, which is the farthest she could possibly go from the horrific ugliness described in this book. So, please bear with me.

It's not that I didn't like the story. It's the combination writer / italian reader that I really, really didn't like.

As for the book itself, I am fascinated by the history of Haiti, but Allende's c
Eileen Souza
This was an excellent book, that I would probably have given 5 stars, were it not for the fact that it took me over a week to read - meaning that I actually could put it down.

The story takes place in Saint Domingue (present day Haiti) during the time it was a French colony, and through the time where it became it's own country. It also provides story in New Orleans, during the time it was a Spanish, French, and then US territory. These are periods of time and locations that I do not know a great
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Isabel Allende Llona is a Chilean-American novelist. Allende, who writes in the "magic realism" tradition, is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America. She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together. She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at s ...more
More about Isabel Allende...
The House of the Spirits Daughter of Fortune Eva Luna Portrait in Sepia Paula

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“We all have an unsuspected reserve of strength inside that emerges when life puts us to the test.” 61 likes
“The slave who dances is free ... while he is dancing.” 20 likes
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