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Enthralling and Captivating: A Review of Island on the Edge of the World by Deborah Rodriguez

November 12, 2019

Island on the Edge of the World tells the captivating story of four very different women, coming together under the strangest of circumstances as they all search for answers in the chaotic land of Haiti.

We’re introduced to Charlie, working as a hairdresser in Northern California. But her traumatic childhood has left her struggling to find her way in life, and has stripped her of any relationship with her mother. Bea is Charlie’s grandmother, a woman with uncanny psychic abilities who believes Charlie needs to reunite with her mother. Lisbeth, a Texas widow, is venturing far from home in search of a grandchild she never knew. And Senzey is a young Haitian mother who has experienced so much loss, but also love, in her young life. These four women cross paths in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a vibrant, colourful city. They soon learn that while the city, and the country, may be poor, it is rich is courage, strength and love.

As these four women journey together through Haiti, they are witness to the do-gooders doing more harm than good, Vodou practitioners, activists, artists, and everyday Haitian men and women determined to survive against all odds. While they journey together, they are each on their own path of self-discovery, trying to find the answers to their own personal dilemmas, or closure for parts of their lives. But their time in Haiti will change each of these women. What they experience and discover will mean their lives will never be the same again.

From the author of the international bestseller The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, this enthralling story brings Haiti to life. It is a story of the senses, with the tastes, smells and sounds of Haiti enveloping you, and making you wish that you were with the characters. Rodriguez has a great talent for transporting her readers to exotic destinations, and this book does not fail. Rodriguez has even included some recipes in the back of the book for those so inspired by the book that they want to truly experience the tastes!

Island on the Edge of the World is a beautiful read. It is a wonderful, fun and light story, albeit with hints of social commentary, and touching on some darker themes. The way that Rodriguez addresses the do-gooders who do more harm than good is eye-opening, but is treated with a delicate hand, just making sure the reader is aware of what is and isn’t helpful. As mentioned, while there are darker tones of corruption among some organisations, the story is also full of humour and an overwhelming sense of sisterhood and camaraderie between the four women.

If you have enjoyed previous Deborah Rodriguez books, you will love this newest addition. But even as a newcomer to her works, you’ll find yourself so easily enchanted and swept away with the story. Add this to your summer reading list. You won’t regret it.

Buy a copy of Island on the Edge of the World here

About the author

Deborah Rodriguez is the author of the international bestseller The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul. She has also written two memoirs: The Kabul Beauty School, about her life in Afghanistan, and The House on Carnaval Street, on her experiences following her return to America. She spent five years teaching and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan.

Deborah also owned the Oasis Salon and the Cabul Coffee House, and is the founder of the nonprofit organization Oasis Rescue, which aims to teach women in post-conflict and disaster-stricken areas the art of hairdressing.

She currently lives in Mexico.


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