Rachel didn’t follow the rules. And rules were important, for she was part of a Jewish community that fled the European Inquisition and finally settled in the Caribbean. She rarely did as she was told. She spent most of her time in her father’s library reading, mostly about Paris, memorizing all the maps, imagining a cold fairyland. She always believed that St. Thomas was not her true home. Paris was where she belonged. When she wasn’t in the library she was wandering the island with her only friend, Jestine, the daughter of her mother’s maid. Exasperated, her mother said “I hope you have a child that causes you the misery you have caused me.” Rachel never expected the curse to come true.
Alice Hoffman is a wonderful story teller, painting a vivid picture of St. Thomas, the island of the turtles. The mosquitoes, the bats, the incredible flowers and the ever present heat surrounded me. Her characters are fully developed and complex and she skillfully blended historic facts with fiction into a compelling tale of the life of Rachel Pomie Pizzarro, a story of friendships and loves. I enjoyed everything about this book and I highly recommend it.
eGalley review Publication date 8.4.15