The Black Isle
|Sandi Tan||Publisher: Grand Central , New York , 2012|
|ISBN:9780446563925|| Classification: FicTan|
From a young age, Cassandra was cognizant of the ghosts around her. She witnessed their tortured presence during a childhood in Shanghai and continues to see them as she moves to the Black Isle, a British colony in the Indonesian archipelago, with her father and twin brother. Cassandra's visions and her brother's recklessness tear them apart and signal the brutality that will define her life. The beginning of World War II and Japan's occupation of the colony lead her to her first doomed romantic relationship. After a Japanese colonel named Taro violently destroys her new family, she is forced to serve as his political pawn while witnessing the growing number of souls looking for revenge and closure. VERDICT Tan constructs a debut novel that is beautifully written yet deeply disturbing. Gritty and intensely erotic, it grips readers with Cassandra's visions while pushing them away with the brutality of her life. Not a story for the faint of heart, it will engage those looking for a gothic depiction of WWII in Asia and the ghosts that haunt us.
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