Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

land-of-love-and-drowning“A major debut from an award-winning writer—an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands.

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.

Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and the author’s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. Following the Bradshaw family through sixty years of fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs, Land of Love and Drowning is a gorgeous, vibrant debut by an exciting, prizewinning young writer.” – Goodreads

The year is 1917 and the Virgin Islands have  just been transferred from Danish control to become a part of America. The Bradshaw family, along with the rest of the inhabitants of the Islands, are swept up in the excitement and change, but they have no idea of just how much change is coming their way. Captain Bradshaw, who has spent his life on the sea, is soon claimed by that same sea when his ship breaches a coral reef. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two young sisters and their estranged half-brother, each of whom possesses an unusual beauty, as well as a touch of magic that will factor importantly in their lives.

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique possesses the kind of storytelling that slowly weaves a spell around you until you are fully entranced and committed to this tale. Combining fantasy and fiction with historical events, Yanique carries readers on a wave of magic and reality. Brought into play are such momentous events as WWII and the Civil Rights Movement (both in the U.S. and the U.S. V.I.).This powerful family saga also manages to explore the rich history of the Caribbean islands and the people who live and love there.

Land of Love and Drowning is a powerful and absorbing novel that brings to readers the question of whether we can escape the events destiny has planned for us, or if we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors before us. Yanique’s writing is imbued with a magic all its own as she masterfully pulls us inside the world of the Bradshaws and their home in the lush and magical Virgin Islands. For those who appreciate highly literary fiction, this is definitely the read for you.

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique: Read it today!

3.5 stars

Source: Free Library of Philadelphia

 

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