Island on Fire

Sophie Schiller. Createspace, $10.99 trade paper (270p) ISBN 978-1-986210-78-2
Schiller (Race to Tibet) sets this memorable romantic thriller in 1902 on the island of Martinique, whose main city, Saint-Pierre, was considered at the time to be the Paris of the West Indies, shortly before the eruption of the Mount Pelée volcano, which claimed approximately 30,000 lives. The personal life of Emelie Dujon, an upper-class 19-year-old, is in turmoil after she learns of her fiancé’s unfaithfulness. As tremors threaten the island, Emelie struggles to find a way to end her engagement without becoming a social pariah, even turning, in desperation, to voodoo. That story line is enhanced by sections illuminating the island’s politics, as Gov. Louis Mouttet, whose role in the response to the volcanic catastrophe remains a source of controversy, struggles with the growing electoral strength of radical socialists. A closing author’s note details how closely the novel adheres to the known facts of what transpired in Saint-Pierre. Schiller nicely balances history and fiction. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 09/17/2018
Release date: 03/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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