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Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

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Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages

Land of Love and Drowning

Land of Love and Drowning: A Novel - Tiphanie Yanique

I think this is probably the only book I have ever read that is set in the Virgin Island (and, yes, Yanique was born there as well).

 

This book begins on Transfer Day—the day what we know as the US Virgin Islands were transferred to the US from Denmark in 1917. Transfer Day signaled many changes for the VI which the residents did not expect, both good and bad. Their men fought in WWII, and  they became American citizens and could go back and forth to the mainland. White American tourists began coming in droves. Then buying property. Then claiming beaches as private. Transfer Day also meant a lot for ship Captain Owen Arthur Bradshaw in this book—it meant the end of rum as his main cargo. It meant his business going downhill.

 

After Captain Bradshaw's death and then his wife's, their two daughters were left on their own. Eeona, the elder, raised Anette, the younger. But Eeona tried to raise Anette as their mother had raised Eeona—as a Lady with much to Expect. Of course, Eeona's own hopes were dashed upon her father's death and the family's imminent downfall. And Anette, who did not remember either parent, was growing up in an apartment, not a Villa. They no longer had servants or a good income. She was considered a bit wild.

 

The novel traces the girls' lives and relationships to middle age, as well as the changes taking place in the VI. Caribbean mythology and mythmaking also come in to play.