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With its finely-evoked Haiti setting and interlacing of one woman’s search for her grandchild with another’s search for her absent mother, Island on the Edge of the World by Deborah Rodriguez, author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul and The Kabul Beauty School, comes heartily recommended for fans of thought-provoking family dramas.
Estranged from her mum, Alice, and her poisonously controlling stepdad Jim, who’ve established a mission on Haiti - Charlie has been living with grandmother Bea for the past year. When psychic Bea dreams that something isn’t right with Alice, Charlie reluctantly agrees to travel to the island to check she’s OK. At the airport they meet Lizbeth, a widow who’s learned that she might have a grandchild on Haiti, where her son - also deceased - worked for an NGO. The novel really finds its flow when the three women set foot on the island and search for Lizbeth’s grandchild together, with Charlie additionally trying to find her mother, and perhaps also the strength to forgive her.
Alongside the women’s personal quests, truths about Haitian history, culture and post-earthquake poverty are revealed through Mackenson, their driver, translator and all-round fountain of knowledge and help. His calm voice cuts through misconceptions about the island, exposing the debilitating effects of negligent international aid practices and ignorant “white saviours”. As a pacy race against time plays out in Port-au-Prince, Bea’s encounters with a flirtatious Frenchman and the bond she forms with Mambo Michèle, a Voudou priestess, deliver delightful moments of energy and light.
Haiti. A poor country rich in courage, strength and love. As these four women are about to discover.
Charlie, the rootless daughter of American missionaries, now working as a hairdresser in Northern California. But the repercussions of a traumatic childhood far from home have left her struggling for her way in life.
Bea, Charlie's eccentric grandmother, who is convinced a reunion with her estranged mother will help Charlie heal.
Lizbeth, a Texas widow who has never strayed too far from home. She is on a daunting journey into the unknown, searching for the grandchild she never knew existed.
And Senzey, a young Haitian mother dealing with a lifetime of love and loss, who shows them the true meaning of bravery.
Together they venture through the teeming, colorful streets of Port-au-Prince, into the worlds of do-gooders doing more harm than good, Vodou practitioners, artists, activists, and everyday Haitian men and women determined to survive against all odds.
For Charlie, Bea, Lizbeth and Senzey, life will never be the same again . . .
Closing date: 15/05/2021
Publication date: 19/03/2020
Publisher: Sphere an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||19th March 2020|
|Publisher:||Sphere an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||Family Drama, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical romance, Historical fiction,|
Deborah Rodriguez spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. Rodriguez also owned the Cabul Coffee House. She is now a hairdresser, a motivational speaker, and the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir The Kabul Beauty School. Deborah currently lives in Mexico. To learn more about her visit www.debbierodriguez.comMore About Deborah Rodriguez