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Customer Reviews for

Island Beneath the Sea

Average Rating 4
( 238 )
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5 Star

(100)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(44)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

One of her better works

I've read several of Allende's books and liked them all, but this is one of her best, if not the best. I especially enjoyed the setting in the Carribean and Louisiana, and as always enjoyed getting to know the characters and sympathizing with them. Definitely recommend...
I've read several of Allende's books and liked them all, but this is one of her best, if not the best. I especially enjoyed the setting in the Carribean and Louisiana, and as always enjoyed getting to know the characters and sympathizing with them. Definitely recommend this book!

posted by avidtexasreader on May 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing compared to Allende's other books

I have loved many of Isabel Allende's books, such as "Portrait in Sepia," so was anxious to read "Island Beneath the Sea." While I learned quite a bit about the sad and difficult history of Haiti, the story dragged in parts. The writing wasn't as crisp as in prior boo...
I have loved many of Isabel Allende's books, such as "Portrait in Sepia," so was anxious to read "Island Beneath the Sea." While I learned quite a bit about the sad and difficult history of Haiti, the story dragged in parts. The writing wasn't as crisp as in prior books and the characters weren't as compelling or interesting.

posted by RedMtReader on December 21, 2010

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    One of her better works

    I've read several of Allende's books and liked them all, but this is one of her best, if not the best. I especially enjoyed the setting in the Carribean and Louisiana, and as always enjoyed getting to know the characters and sympathizing with them. Definitely recommend this book!

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2010

    An Island to enjoy.

    This is the first novel I read from this author and I found it extremely entertaining. I often had to prevent myself from reading ahead so that I could get to the ending.

    All the characters were well thought of and developed. Each character had their own personality and were well thought of. The cultural surroundings not only had me feeling I was there, in the story, but the cultural and historical reference also gave each character its foundation and credibility.

    It is not too often that I find books that have me thinking about them after I have closed the book for the evening or leaving me satisfied with what I have read, wishing there had been much more.

    This was a love story, a coming of age story, historical story, a thriller and just down-right entertaining. I loved it. It is one that I will include in my library. This is one author that I will now be on the lookout for future releases.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    STRONG NARRATION OF A REMARKABLE STORY

    For fans of television's popular series Law & Order S. Epatha Merkerson is a familiar name. However, although her six year stay as Lt. Anita Van Buren on that program brought her many accolades, it is only a small part of her resume.

    Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Merkerson was a dance major at Wayne State University until a friend asked her to come to attend the friend's drama class. It was there that she discovered what she truly wanted to do. So, after graduation she headed for New York City to carve out a career as an actress.

    It was not too long before her gifts were recognized - she earned a Tony nomination for best actress for her role in The Piano Lesson as well as the Drama Desk Award and the Helen Hayes Award. Television and screen roles followed.

    Many of us recall not only Merkerson's first-rate performances but her voice - a tad husky yet clear, resonant. Listeners will thoroughly enjoy her reading of Isabel Allende's spellbinding ISLAND BENEATH THE SEA.

    Set in the French colony that will later become Haiti and using the revolt of 1804 plus several historical figures in her narrative the multi talented author relates the story of Zarite, called Tete. Her life is a mirror in which we see reflected the horrors of slavery, and the brutality of the lives endured by those who worked on the sugar cane plantations.

    Tete is the mulatto daughter of a mother she never knew and a white sailor. When Toulouse Valmorain arrives in 1770 he intends that his visit will be brief. However, he inherits his father's vast holdings - plantations and hundreds of slaves. He buys Tete as his wife's slave little knowing how their lives will intertwine. Days are perilous during the slave revolt and although Tete hates her master she has borne him two children, so she escapes with him to New Orleans to protect her offspring.

    It is there in an entirely different world that Tete attempts to create a life for herself.

    As is her wont Allende has created complex, fascinating characters, unforgettable people whose lives have been caught up in situations not of their own doing. Tete' is a remarkable figure, struggling against almost insurmountable mores and odds.

    - Gail Cooke

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2010

    Disappointing compared to Allende's other books

    I have loved many of Isabel Allende's books, such as "Portrait in Sepia," so was anxious to read "Island Beneath the Sea." While I learned quite a bit about the sad and difficult history of Haiti, the story dragged in parts. The writing wasn't as crisp as in prior books and the characters weren't as compelling or interesting.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2010

    One of the best books I've ever read.

    I am a Creole from New Orleans, this book touches me. I love the characters and the way the story is written. I couldn't put it down. Grab a nice glass of wine and enjoy!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2013

    4 Stars for Book. 1 Star for COST! First, let me say I have rea

    4 Stars for Book. 1 Star for COST!

    First, let me say I have read this book when first released and loved it! I've read Allende before and have enjoyed all of them.

    BUT THIS REVIEW IS NOT ABOUT THE BOOK. My initial reading was a library book, which was well before I owned a Nook.Now my book club has chosen it for our next discussion and I decided to buy it this time around. But I am SHOCKED to see that Nook's English version is almost twice the cost of the Spanish version. I can't find anywhere on the website to address this question, so I'm asking here in hopes of a response. Until then, I hold off on making a Nook purchase.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Query

    Why are you able to get AllendeS books and Marquezs books in spanish but not in english for those of us who love them and the worlds they create but arent fluent enough in spanish to read them?

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Great read

    Very good read

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I absolutely loved this book!

    What a beautifully written historical novel. Now I have a much better understanding of the slave revolt that took place in Haiti and how Haiti came to be abandonded by other nations. People such as Tete, who wanted freedom were so hard for the white people to understand. I also liked the face that Isabel Allende (whom I have read extensively and admired) made Tete very realistic. She wanted freedom and was a noble person, but because of love for her children she stayed a slave which was abhorent to her far longer than she had to. Even her slave master, the despicable coward that he was, was still "not as bad" as some slave owners. I would recommend this book to anyone that appreciates historical fiction and loves a good story of humanity and love.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    DROP THE EBOOK PRICE

    I purchased the hardcopy and I loved the story. I own a nook and would have liked the digital, but it made no sense at the current price.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2014

    Highly recommend

    I absolutely loved this book, as I do all of the books she has written that I have read. I hope there will be more of her writing soon!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    I found the story compelling but and the last two hundred pages

    I found the story compelling but and the last two hundred pages I could not put the book down, bur I agree with another revised.  I wish there had been a bit more effort onto character development and the ending was a bit of a let down.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Incroyable!

    One of the best books I've ever read !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Amazing

    What an amazingly written story. This book touched so many emotions for me. This is one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I read it in Spanish and the language was beautiful and descriptive. So great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2013

    Wonderful read!

    You will not regret this purchase. One of my all-time favorites by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Loved it!

    The way Ms. Allende wrote each character challenged my perspective of what is appropriate and what is not. I saw myself in many of the characters, and realized how naive I was to believe that some rules were so absolute. "Would I do that to survive?" was the question I kept asking myself. I would recommend this book because I enjoyed the history she wove into it and because it was incredible to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Great Historical Epic

    I loved this book, I couldn't put it down, the words just flowed, and I loved stepping back in time and witnessing first hand all that occurred during this time in history. It's beautifully written and heart felt, it made me cry more than a couple of times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    I stand in aww

    Love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2013

    A book that washes over you

    The author weaves a tale of women living through the bloody revolution that led to the creation of the free black republic of Haiti during the 18th century. The complex history that defines and maintains the layers of society on the island, the influence of the Catholic church and the reliance of African slaves on nature for protection and sustenance, all drive the characters' stories. The prose is often romantically descriptive but does not shy away from bringing the cruelty of slavery and madness of war before the reader. This is not a steamy romance novel but I recommend it for romance readers who would like to challenge and broaden their ideas about love. GreenOak

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Man oh man, this is a great book

    It was nothing like I expected. Tells the story of a young slave girl. Makes one feel like they are right there experiencing what she is going through. Lots of history as well. Hard to believe such captivity of human beings existed not all that long ago.

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