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Prospero's daughter : a novel
Elizabeth Nunez
Adult Fiction NUNEZ

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Nunez (Bruised Hibiscus; Grace) critiques colonialist assumptions about race and class in this ambitious reworking of The Tempest, set in her native Trinidad in the early 1960s. Dr. Peter Gardner (the Prospero figure) arrives on the island with his baby daughter after a botched medical experiment in England made him an outlaw. The novel's Caliban is Carlos, a mixed-race orphan whose house on an outlying island the doctor steals. Gardner teaches the boy biology, astronomy, music-"an exclusively European education," Carlos later reflects-but his natural brilliance far surpasses anything the doctor can impart. Inevitably, Carlos and Gardner's daughter, Virginia (Miranda), fall in love; the doctor, in a paroxysm of rage at the thought of a sexual union between his daughter and a dark-skinned man, accuses Carlos of attempted rape. As the criminal charge is investigated, Nunez reveals Gardner to be the real criminal-not only toward Carlos, but also toward his native servant, Ariana (Ariel), and Virginia herself. With its strong themes and dramatic ironies, this story should speak for itself; Nunez, however, overexplains her material, forecasting plot developments and leaning, at times, toward didacticism. But while her portrait of demonic scientist Gardner remains superficial, readers will find her love story-which has a refreshingly happy ending-very sensitively told. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Peter Gardner, an English medical doctor, is on the run from the law for poisoning his patients. He is a master of deception, hiding his crimes, his racism, and his madness with lies and innuendo. He and his three-year-old daughter, Virginia, appear on a tiny island near Trinidad the day after a tremendous storm. Five-year-old Carlos, an orphan, lives on the island in the care of his dead mother's housekeeper, who is dying of cancer. The housekeeper lets Peter move in, and he begins to manipulate the situation to his liking. Although Peter has other plans for his daughter, Virginia and Carlos grow up and eventually fall in love. In the end, Peter's madness overtakes him. The novel, narrated by Simon Vance, features well-drawn and sympathetic characters; the helplessness of the children is chilling. Recommended. Joanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Peter Gardner
Male
Father
Botched medical experiment made him an outlaw; fled with his daughter to an island; taches Carlos biology, astronomy, music; accuses Carlos of attmepted rape of his daughter.
Doctor

Carlos
Male
Mixed race
House is stolen by Peter; falls in love with Virginia.

Virginia
Female
Peter's daughter; falls in love with Carlos.



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