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Red Island House by Andrea Lee
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Red Island House

A Novel

$27.59 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Bahni Turpin
Length 11 hours 59 minutes
Language English
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From National Book Award–nominated writer Andrea Lee comes Red Island House, a travel epic that opens a window on the mysterious African island of Madagascar, and on the dangers of life and love in paradise, as seen through the eyes of a Black American heroine.

“People do mysterious things when they think they have found paradise,” reflects Shay, the heroine of Red Island House. When Shay, an intrepid Black American professor, marries Senna, a brash Italian businessman, she doesn’t imagine that her life’s greatest adventure will carry her far beyond their home in Milan: to an idyllic stretch of beach in Madagascar where Senna builds a flamboyant vacation villa. Before she knows it, she becomes the reluctant mistress of a sprawling household, caught between her privileged American upbringing and her connection to the continent of her ancestors. So begins Shay’s journey into the heart of a remote African country. Can she keep her identity and her marriage intact amid the wild beauty and the lingering colonial sins of this mysterious world that both captivates and destroys foreigners?

A mesmerizing, powerful tale of travel and self-discovery that evokes Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, Red Island House showcases an extraordinary literary voice and gorgeously depicts a lush and unknown world.

Andrea Lee is the author of five books, including the National Book Award–nominated memoir Russian Journal, the novels Red Island House, Lost Hearts in Italy and Sarah Phillips, and the story collection Interesting Women. A former staff writer for The New Yorker, she has written for The New York Times MagazineVogue, W, and The New York Times Book Review. Born in Philadelphia, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University and now lives in Italy.

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Reviews

"Turpin gives a lively, arch performance, capturing the history and magic of Madagascar as well as Shay's personality. Listeners who are searching for a unique novel that intertwines plot with setting will soak in this experience. Turpin jumps back and forth between details of the island's vivid past and Shay's urgent present, filled with the demands of work, parenting, and marriage. This entertaining title will engage listeners until the very end." Expand reviews