Island Beneath The Sea – Isabel Allende

Tete is African, born on Saint Dominique who never knew her mother.  She was sold as a slave and grew up during the 18th century.  Slavery is at its highest – St. Dominique is later known as the island of Haiti.

Brutality and fear is an everyday occurence.

Tete finds comfort in the drums she hears from across the land she calls home along with the mysterious history and culture she hears from the local elders known as voodoo.

She is the slave to Toulouse Valmorian.  He travelled from France to help and eventually take control his families sugar plantation after his father dies.  The plantation does very well in Toulouse’s hands.  He yearns to return to civilization (France), but realizes that he is doomed to stay on the island.

He eventually marries a Cuban woman whom he does love until she becomes mentally ill, and eventually dying after giving birth to their one and only child.

The lives of Tete and Valmorian are inexplicably intertwined as master and slave live together, amid somewhat brutal circumstances.  Even after they leave the island for safety when riots erupt between whites and blacks for New Orleans.

To new lives, new connections, new situations, new loves for both.  Old situations, jealousies appear at the surface that were once forgotten or just not talked about give them each situations that they must face together and separately.

I enjoyed this book.  The translation was impeccable being translated from Spanish to English.  It kept the richness of the writing alive as you experienced Saint Dominique and New Orleans like you were there yourself.  The richness of the writing was there as well to keep the narrative smooth and flowing.

Cruelty, Love, detailed as if you were there in the cane fields of Saint Dominique or in early New Orleans talking to someone on the street in Creole.

Make sure you watch the video below, such a funny and articulate lady, stunning!


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