Sunday, July 13, 2008

Debut Showcase: Island of Eternal Love

The Island of Eternal Love (Amazon USA, UK, Canada)
by Daina Chaviano (book trailer)
Riverhead (Penguin)

Cecilia is alone in a city that haunts her. Life in Miami evokes memories of Cuba: a scent in the breeze like the sea at the Malec√≥n; the beat of a clave recalls island evenings when couples danced to forgotten rhythms. Far from her family, her history, and her home, Cecilia seeks refuge in a bar in Little Havana, where a mysterious old woman’s fascinating tale keeps her returning night after night.

It is a story of three families from opposite corners of the world—from Africa, Spain, and China—that spans more than a century. Within it, a Chinese widow seeks protection for her daughter in her family’s idols; an African slave brings the rhythms of her birth to an enchanted island; and a curse dances before the female descendants of a charmed Spanish matriarch, forming the mythic origins of one family’s indestructible bond. The connection strengthens with each generation into a legendary, unbreakable love. Under the story’s heady sway, Cecilia begins to discover the source of the elusive shadows that plague her and, along with it, a link to the past she cannot shake.

This isn't your traditional fantasy, but it had supernatural elements so I thought I'd give it some coverage. This is also not a traditional debut, since the author has been published since the '80s in the Spanish language.

I'm posting this in absentia--I'm on a short vacation, but hopefully I'll get a couple posts scheduled to keep you reading while I'm gone. I should be blogging again on Thursday, but until then I'll try to pop in and read comments from time to time.


CaroleMcDonnell said...

Wow, this looks really good! I like the multiculturalism of it. And I like the idea of a narrator telling a story...and that thousand ond one nights Scheherazade feel. This is one I could read. -C

Raven said...

Hope you're having a great vacation, Tia!

Helen said...

You'll love this novel. And Carole is so right when she talks about that "thousand ond one nights Scheherazade feeling". This is exactly what I felt when I was reading it.

This writer has a fantasy and SciFi background, but she also deals with contemporary social and cultural issues. From what I've read, she mixes all type of diferent subjects. And she does not respect genre boundaries either, something that I really love.

Tia Nevitt said...

I got the definite impression that this was a literary novel with fantasy elements. Kind of like Carole's book, actually.

Maybe I'll try to snag a copy.