Mathew's Reviews > Easter Island

Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes
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Dec 30, 2012

it was amazing
Read from April 04 to December 30, 2012

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 find myself pleased to be back in the world of the other and equally eager to remain there.

Alice is an especially compelling character - unique, magical, electric - and the relationship between the sisters is remarkable.

One area that seems puzzling, possibly lacking, in both storylines (so far), is a sense of foreboding or danger to the women. With Greer, in the modern world, I'm happy to experience her day-to-day exploring, wrapped, as she is, in sadness. But with Elsa and Alice, two young attractive women, quite alone in Victorian times... I haven't quite found my footing. There's a feminist quality to it, in that Elsa remains quite in control of the situation, but also what verges on naivete to the characters and the narrative. It seems almost unbelievable that during the entire boat trip, sequestered as they are with male sailing crew, nobody makes a move, not the husband who is quartered separately, nor any members of the crew, make a single (mentioned) advance on simple, comely Alice. I'm only 150 pgs in, however, and perhaps (as I suspect) this is still to come.
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