Island Beneath the Sea

  • by Isabel Allende
  • Narrated by S. Epatha Merkerson
  • 17 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarit - known as Tt - 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, Tt finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in the voodoo loas she discovers through her fellow slaves.
When 20-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, its with powdered wigs in his baggage and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his fathers plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. It will be eight years before he brings home a bride - but marriage, too, proves more difficult than he imagined. And Valmorain remains dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.
Spanning four decades, Island Beneath the Sea is the moving story of the intertwined lives of Tt and Valmorain, and of one woman's determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.

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What the Critics Say

"In a many-faceted plot, Allende animates irresistible characters authentic in their emotional turmoil and pragmatic adaptability. She also captures the racial, sexual, and entrepreneurial dynamics of each society in sensuous detail while masterfully dramatizing the psychic wounds of slavery. Sexually explicit, Allende is grace incarnate in her evocations of the spiritual energy that still sustains the beleaguered people of Haiti and New Orleans." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

excellent listen

When I decided on this book I wasn't really sure how I would enjoy the subject but it had good reviews and was on the NY Times bestseller list. But with a setting first in Haiti with the French in charge in the late 1700's, slavery, the slave rebellion, a move to New Orleans of both French and slaves along with excellent writing by the author I found I really did enjoy it. Both from an historical and human perspective, it was easy to keep listening and the book just rolled along.
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- Stevon

good story, ok narration

I couldn't stop listening. Ideal audiobook for me: good story, well written and not too heavy. Good to listen to while you're doing something else. The narration wasn't wonderful, any French names/words were butchered, but it didn't bother me too much.
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- Madelaine

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-27-2010
  • Publisher: HarperAudio