Thursday, August 4, 2011

Curled up with a book

Tomorrow my Book Group is meeting at my house for lunch and a review of our current selection, Island Beneath the Sea (Isabel Allende).

I am the discussion leader.  I have not yet finished the book.

So this morning, I made chicken salad, cranberry relish, homemade rolls, and lemonade. Cleaned the kitchen, dusted and vacuumed. Put odds and ends (junk) away that were sitting around where they never should have been, but you know how that goes. Or maybe you don't.  Maybe you put things away in their proper place right away.

Yeah, right....

So now I am ready to curl up (I wish I had a box of chocolates) and finish the book. Why do I always have to have everything in order and all my chores done before allowing myself to sit and read or knit? Maybe it's a Lutheran thing.

Besides being my favorite author, Isabel Allende has outdone herself with this book. I almost hate to finish it. Then it's done and I will miss it. It's just that good.

Set in the late 1700s in France, Haiti, Cuba and New Orleans, it contains a rich history of the settling of Louisiana as a colony of Spain, then France, and finally America.

It's the story of Zarité, known as Tété, a young slave purchased by a wealthy sugarcane plantation owner, Toulase Valmorain, as a concubine for his own pleasure and whims.

Against a merciless backdrop of slavery in the sugarcane fields, their lives become more intertwined and interdependent over the years. Though battered and treated cruelly, Tété survives with her strength of character, and her voodoo beliefs, which are later mingled with Christianity.

The island beneath the sea is a place where "rhythm is shakes the earth, it cuts like a lightening bolt and rises toward the sky." Such beautiful prose. Typical of Allende's style.

Isabel Allende wrote two of my favorite books, Daughter of Fortune and Portrait in Sepia. Now I have a third favorite.
So if, tomorrow, I am to lead the discussion, I better finish the last twenty-seven pages....