Book Review: The Island of Eternal Love : #2

This is my second post on the book The Island of Eternal Love. The first one was short and really uninformative, sorry about that. It was late at night when I finally finished reading the book and I just wanted to write something, it was such a good book. The copy I read was a Limited Edition Uncorrected Proof ( those are always cool to find ).

Now I'm here, trying to think about about what I wrote in that one. Well, whatever I wrote it wasn't enough, so now I'm going to write what I should have all along. The book follows three families. Generation through generation we watch them grow, from babies to mother and fathers to grandparents, and we watch their children do the same. The families do not know of each other as in they are three families connected in the same circle or same town, but they are three families connected, throughout time.

Cecilia escaped Cuba during a time of great terror. When the probability of dying greatly outweighed the possibility of living. After both her parents had already died, she was left with nothing to do but figure out her own escape. Fleeing with the rest seemed like the only solution. The tiny raft that floated, tossed and turned throughout the ocean, took her to America, to Miami, a new place, a new start. A much bigger chance of survival.

Now with her successful career as a journalist, Cecilia has happened upon a story that leads her to a phantom house. A few people around Miami have seen this house appear, seemingly out of no where, on dark night, in vacant lots. The lights are always on, the house is well out of date and the old fashioned clothes that the silent strangers on the porch wear let anyone who see this house know that it's form the spirit world. As she gets more and more intrigued my this story, she also meets a woman, Amalia. Amalia starts telling Cecilia a story that started long ago, in the far reaches of the globe and ends in the present day. From the moment she begins to reveal what happened all those years ago, Cecilia is hooked, no longer can she think, or dream of anything other than what this woman is going to tell her next.

The families started their journeys in China, Africa, and Spain. The Chinese family, the Wongs, story really begins with a child by the name of Kui-fa in the year of 1919. She was only eleven then, but as she grew her uncle married her to a young man who was smart and well off in a business way. But soon after the wedding and the birth of their son, he left for Cuba, where better work was a great possibility. Five years went by before she saw her husband again, Siu Mend.

The family from Spain, their story starts in Cuba. Don Pedro and his wife have a daughter Angela, and Angela has recently inherited her family's feminine curse. The curse of Martinico, an Imp who only appears to the women of the family, or the wife of the first born son. And he does nothing but cause them grief, mischievous as he is. Unfortunately, Martinico is not the only mythical creature that she sees, her family is gifted with the sight to be more sensitive to the supernatural, they see creatures that others can not. With this gift Angela is blessed with the love of a wonderful man, for all of eternity and beyond, but she also makes a deal with the Devil himself.

Africa's Family starts with a mulatto girl named Caridad, a slave on a plantation in Cuba, her mother had gotten pregnant with her on the trip from Africa to Cuba after being kidnapped from her tribe to be sold as a slave. When the girl was a little older, she had been working inside as the mistresses quarters girl, an epidemic swept through the land, killing numbers of people that Caridad couldn't even fathom. She was sent to a vacation home on another part of Cuba, and because she was a mulatto, she was unique, the slave master's wife liked this and kept her for herself. Keeping Caridad out of the hot sun and inside, once again being the house mistresses girl. It was in this home that Caridad fell in love with a boy from another home, another slave, another mulatto. Once they were old enough they were going to buy their way to freedom, and start a family. Happy together, forever. But fate always changes everyone's plan.

This is a story of love, loss, great happiness and great sadness. It's been such a long time since I actually cried reading a book, but this one did it. I actually cried. Some of the things here were so unfair, unjust it made me sick to think what they went through. But the ending more than made up for anything that went bad. I recommend it to all my adult friends. While it does contain anything unfit for children, I believe that only another grown up could appreciate this story.

Ratings: Number 4 and 4 stars

The Island of Eternal Love
Daina Chaviano