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Island Beneath the Sea

The story of Tété, born into slavery in the 1760s on the island Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), and the story Toulouse Valmorian, a French plantation owner who arrives in Saint-Domingue in the 1770s, run parallel and inter lap and weave together over 40 years in this unbelievable novel. Allende's historical novel has all the workings of a full-fledged saga. Tété's story is heartbreaking, and she is "determined to find love amid loss and forge her own identity in the cruelest of circumstances." However, this book is not all about love and soul-searching; at its core, it is about the harsh realities of slavery. Her novel is "intensely personal and contextually personal." I loved reading about the Haitian revolution from a different point of view than my textbook's. It was the first and only truly successful slave revolt in the new world, led by Toussaint L'Overture. Towards the end of the novel, it becomes not only a story about the Haitian people, but about blacks in America. This was a quick and easy read, and it must have taken me two days, at most, to finish. A really interesting note - the book was originally written in Spanish (the author is Peruvian) but later translated into English. I recommend this for a multitude of reasons but essentially it is a perfect easy read for the end of the summer! Rating: ★★★★★

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Unaccustomed Earth & Interpreter of Maladies