Life starts to unravel for Penelope when her husband, Rupert, drags their family to the remote Seychelles islands for an exotic diplomatic job in 1960. While Penelope pines for London, Rupert and their two daughters fall in love with this tropical paradise. The children run barefoot on the beach and become enraptured by the ancient magic, or grigri, that pervades this lush colonial outpost. Rupert, meanwhile, succumbs to the island’s other lures when a Seychelloise beauty sets her sights—and casts her spells—on him.
But Penelope and her daughter Zara won’t go down without a fight. In a desperate attempt to hold the family together, they each turn secretly to the local witchcraft with devastating results. Ultimately, Penelope and her family suffer unimaginable consequences that change their lives forever.
Benedict’s acerbic wit and evocative descriptions serve up a page-turner brimming with jealousy, sex, and intrigue in this ominous Eden.
"Benedict... offers distinctive cross-cultural insights as well as a cadre of satiric and fascinating characters, and the result is a story that is both touching and humorous. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"A comedy of bad manners reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh." (New York Daily News)
"An armchair traveler’s delight, Benedict’s novel is an amusingly poignant look at the British abroad in the spirit of Evelyn Waugh." (Publishers Weekly)
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Not what I expected