Blue Bay Palace

Blue Bay Palace

by Nathacha Appanah
     
 

Exposing the extremes of life in a developing country, this compelling novel of doomed love shows how poverty, class divisions, and ramshackle housing become even harder to bear when luxurious resorts and rich tourists arrive on the scene. Growing up on the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, lonely young Maya hopes that someday she might escape her poverty

Overview

Exposing the extremes of life in a developing country, this compelling novel of doomed love shows how poverty, class divisions, and ramshackle housing become even harder to bear when luxurious resorts and rich tourists arrive on the scene. Growing up on the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, lonely young Maya hopes that someday she might escape her poverty and find happiness in the desirable housing developments near the new hotels. When she falls in love with a man from a well-to-do family, she believes that her dream is within reach, but her hopes are shattered when her lover is too weak to defy his family and agrees to an arranged marriage to a woman from his own caste. For Maya, this is a crushing blow that turns her love into hatred and murderous madness. Only slowly does she begin to change her outlook, finally understanding that she embodies the land she comes from, with all its antagonisms, and that it is only by embracing her identity that she can catch a precious glimpse of freedom.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Adult/High School

Maya lives in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood of Blue Bay on the shores of Mauritius. It is populated by a blend of traditional Indians who follow the caste system, Caucasian tourists, and wealthy landowners seeking an island paradise. Maya works in a fancy hotel, but she dreams of escaping to England or anywhere else. Then she falls in love with Dave, a Brahmin, and also her father's boss in the restaurant at Le Paradis. At 16, her love for him is all encompassing. At 19, when she learns that he has married a woman to whom he was betrothed by his parents, her love becomes obsessive. Palace posits extreme poverty against extreme wealth and calls into question the value of both the caste system and arranged marriages, as Dave continues to have secret trysts with Maya after he weds. Her passion for him could hit home with teens, and her frustration at the simple unfairness of the breakup has a distinctly adolescent perspective.-Sarah Krygier, Fairfield Civic Center Library, CA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781906300074
Publisher:
Aflame Books
Publication date:
06/01/2009
Pages:
164
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Nathacha Appanah is a journalist and the author of four prize-winning novels in her native French.

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