Set on the cusp of World War One, and in the 1970s, EASTER ISLAND tells the passionate, heart-breaking and ultimately redemptive story of two remarkable women.
Elsa, an Edwardian Englishwoman, is forced by circumstance to leave the man she loves and agree to a marriage of convenience.
The marriage enables her to fulfil her great dream: to visit Easter Island and to study its mysterious history.
But as Elsa becomes bewitched by the island and engrossed in her work, she fails to notice that her beloved sister Alice is becoming caught up in desires of her own, that will threaten not only their work, but also their lives.
Sixty years later, Dr Greer Faraday, recently widowed, makes her own journey to the island.
Born into a different time and country, Greer nevertheless shares Else's passion for this strange and haunting place.
Troubled by unhappy secrets, Greer takes solace in her work, making an island of herself. But as the two women's stories begin to entwine and passions are played out, both Greer and Else must struggle against what society expects of them, and what fate has planned...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 448 pages, maps
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 27/05/2004
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780349117959
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by LyzzyBee
(26 January 2012 – Oxfam, Stratford)A really good, multiply stranded narrative with a time shift element set predominantly on Easter Island. Lots of technical detail, but not so much as to become unbearable, I found. The sections set in 1912-15 read a bit like A.S. Byatt’s “The Children’s Book” and the inclusion of Alice, the heroine’s mentally handicapped sister, was carefully and well done. I disagree with other reviewers who didn’t like the “romance” or the ending – I actually found little romance in there, and many more complex and troubling relationships, and the ending was fine: you do expect some links or parallels in multi-time narratives and those that were there were not too clunky or obvious. An intelligent, and one could even say feminist, novel, with good, strong unusual women characters and an unusual setting.
Review by reader68
Aide memoire:Excellent novel. There are 2 strands. One: Elsa Beazley and her husband and her sister do field work on island in 1914. Two: Dr. Greer Farraday on island early 1970's. Gives latest thinking on history, events and natives.