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Island Beneath the Sea

 

If only every man/woman of the cloth was like Father Antoine.

My favourite character: Violette Boisier

Favourite bits:  Too many to mention but I just loved this:

Zarite has just obtained her freedom after many years in slavery – she sits on the bench outside the court and cries.  An old friend approaches her, when the tears have been spent and tells her he would buy her a dress.

“Are you rich, Zacharie?”

“I’m poor but I live like a rich man.  This is wiser than being rich and living like a poor man.”  He burst out laughing.  “When I die, my friends will have to take up a collection to bury me, but my epitath will say in gold letters: “Here lies Zacharie, the wealthiest black man along the Mississippi.”  I already ordered the inscription on the stone, and I keep it under my bed………  It is the only thing that stays on, Zarite.  In a hundred years visitors to the cemetery will be able to admire the tombs of Violette and Zacharie and imagine we had a good life.”

 

From the island of Saint-Domingue, which later became Haiti after the slave revolution, which saw the plantation owners running for their lives to Louisiana, I truly enjoyed this great read by Isabel Allende.  The characters – Zarite, raped many times by her owner, Violette Boisier, the courtesan; Gambo, Zacharie… Many times, I held the book and thought at how atrocious the slave trade truly was, and all because some people had to have their sugar!!!

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