Tynan Power's Reviews > Island Beneath the Sea

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
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's review
Feb 08, 15

bookshelves: fiction, audio, historical-fiction
Read in June, 2010

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 Orleans as it changes hands from French to Spanish to French again and finally to being under U.S. rule.

This book is one of the most fascinating pieces of historical fiction I've read--and since it's my favorite genre, that's significant.

I "read" this book as an Audible.com audio book and found it to be very engrossing, easy to hear and easy to follow. Since I'm hearing impaired, I find many audiobooks are too difficult to listen to, but this one was a pleasure. It was read by S. Epatha Merkerson (the African-American woman who has played Lt. Anita Van Buren on Law and Order).
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