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In her novel “The Land of Love and Drowning” Tiphanie Yanique takes us to the Virgin Islands beginning in the early 1900s as rule is transferred from Danish to American. Orphaned after a shipwreck two sisters, Eona, her baby sister Annette, and a brother they don’t know they have, all possess a particular beauty and sensuality. Stripped of their social status, the siblings traverse the next 60 years on the beloved island that is bound by the sea that killed their father. Yanique, a native of St. Thomas, creates a multifaceted world you won’t soon forget.
Rebecca Rotert’s debut novel “Last Night at the Blue Angel” is a quick read about found families and guardian angels. Set during the 50s and 50s, in Kansas City and Chicago, Rotert evokes the landscape and culture of the Midwest. Breaking from her oppressive small town to pursue her dream, Naomi Hill is on the verge, singing night after night at the struggling Blue Angel nightclub. As she struggles with men and raising her 10 year old daughter Sophia in a dressing room backstage, the mother daughter relationship is tenuous at best. Finally, we cheer mother and daughter and the friends who guide them along their disparate paths. I thoroughly enjoyed this page turner and its cast of vulnerable, intriguing characters.
Sarah's review first appeared on 89.1 KMUW.
— Sarah Bagby
Recipient of the 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal FoundationAward 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 Garcia Marquez, 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, mothersand 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.
About the Author
Tiphanie Yanique is from Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands. The author of the story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony, she is a 2010 Rona Jaffe Writers Award winner and was named by the National Book Awards as one of 2011 s 5 Under 35. She teaches at the New School and lives in Brooklyn and Saint Thomas."