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Isle of passion : a novel
Laura Restrepo
Adult Fiction RESTREP

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In 1908, Ramon Arnaud, a young Mexican military officer with a spotty record, is named governor of the small Pacific island of Clipperton-an isolated atoll originally dubbed "Isle of Passion" by Magellen. He, his young wife, Alicia, and a retinue of soldiers and their families-including assistant lieutenant Cardona, and his wife, Tirsa-establish a makeshift garrison and settlement, along with a small group of British guano miners. After several relatively idyllic months, Mexico's revolution and WWI leave them largely cut off from supplies and the world at large. When a powerful hurricane and tsunami wipe out most of the settlement, the group must band together to survive, and the disasters are only beginning. As a Lord of the Flies mentality sets in, Alicia and Tirsa are left, or so they think, to lead the remaining women and children. Colombian novelist Restrepo (The Dark Bride), basing the narrative on a true story, writes from the perspective of an unnamed journalist living in the present and trying to piece together the Clipperton mystery via conflicting reports and interviews with survivors. As translated by Koch, she pulls the various elements together with a clear, no-nonsense cartographer's precision, and the result is smooth sailing indeed, a la Jennifer Vanderbes's Easter Island. (Nov. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Colombian novelist Restrepo (The Angel of Galilea) sets this dystopian tale-based on an actual historic incident-on a remote tiny Pacific atoll between 1908 and 1916. Clipperton Island, also known as the Isle of Passion, was first discovered by Ferdinand Magellan and at the time of the story belongs to Mexico. Ramon Arnaud, an army captain, is named governor and joined by his young wife, eventually their three children, and 11 soldiers and their families. Between the political chaos of the Mexican Revolution and the beginnings of World War I, the residents are forgotten by their government, and their utopia turns sour. In its brutal isolation, the island lives up to its name, with every possible human passion, from love and lust to hate and greed, coming to the fore. First issued in Spanish in 1989, this extraordinarily gripping novel communicates surprising lessons on the human condition. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Arnaud
Military officer; made governor of an isolated island.

Arnaud's wife; goes to live with her husband on an isolated island.

Arnaud's assistant lieutenant; settles with Arnaud and others on an island.

Cardonna's wife.

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