Extended Audio Sample

Download Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel Audiobook, by Isabel Allende Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,022 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Isabel Allende Narrator: S. Epatha Merkerson Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9780061997556
Regular Price: $34.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $22.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue—the daughter of an African mother she never knew and a white sailor who brought her into bondage—Zarité, known as Tété, survives a childhood of brutality and fear, finding solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in her exhilarating initiation into the mysteries of voodoo.

When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, he discovers that running his father’s plantation is neither glamorous nor easy. Marriage also proves problematic when, eight years later, he brings home a bride. But it is his teenaged slave, Tété, upon whom Valmorain becomes most dependent, as their lives intertwine across four tumultuous decades.

In Island Beneath the Sea, internationally acclaimed author Isabel Allende spins the unforgettable saga of an extraordinary woman determined to find love amid loss and forge her own identity under the cruelest of circumstances.

Download and start listening now!

BK_HARP_002173

Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] entertaining sweep...The canvas contains no less than the revolutionary history of the world’s first black republic...Allende revels in period details, [and] her cast is equally vibrant.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Exuberant passions, strong heroines, and intricate plots...a world as enchanted—and enchanting—as it is brutal and unjust...A page-turning drama.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Epic scope and sweep…[Allende’s] characters, linked by blood, love triangles, and even incest, have a depth and complexity that…imbues the proceedings with a lushness bordering on magic realism.”

    Associated Press

  • “Enthralling, blood-chilling, and heart-breaking.”

    Huffington Post

  • “A remarkable feat of prescience…Island Beneath the Sea is rich in drama, setting, themes, characters, dialogue, and symbolism…an intriguing and wonderfully woven story.” 

    San Antonio Express-News

  • “Two remarkable women whose destinies are entwined face the chaos of this time [eighteenth century Saint-Domingue]…Uncannily relevant.”

    Elle

  • “[Merkerson’s] slightly deep voice lends the novel a mythical quality, illustrating the spirit of the times in the late eighteenth century. Merkerson deals adeptly with the French names scattered throughout the text without breaking the rhythm of the story. She also varies her pace, speeding up and slowing down to indicate shifts in viewpoint from female to male characters.”

    AudioFile

  • “Allende, an entrancing and astute storyteller cherished the world over, returns to historical fiction to portray another resilient woman whose life embodies the complex forces at work in the bloody forging of the New World...Allende is grace incarnate in her evocations of the spiritual energy that still sustains the beleaguered people of Haiti and New Orleans...[A] transporting, remarkably topical novel of men and women of courage risking all for liberty.” 

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Timely and absorbing…filled with adventure, vivid characters, and richly detailed descriptions of life in the Caribbean.” 

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gita | 2/14/2014

    " This was an intense book. A story of Haiti's roots in the 18th century, interwoven with the political happenings of the time. But most of all, it is a story of a mother whose essence of life is her children. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate Wolf | 1/30/2014

    " I like the literary myticism of Latin American writers. Although this was more historical fiction it still had the feel of the mystical. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Niko Ramsey | 1/27/2014

    " I'm so glad I forced myself past the first half of this book, where it felt like absolutely nothing was happening, to the second half- which was like it was written by a whole different person. The writing, always beautiful, seemed to finally mesh with the characters to make things happen, and the end by far saved the beginning. All in all, I give it a 3/5. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 JoAnn | 1/22/2014

    " I wanted to enjoy this book, but was quickly turned off by graphic scenes of sexual acts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Madeleine | 1/17/2014

    " I'm sure this is a great book, but I read it during 16 hours in the air, so it unfortunately became "airplane book" rather than "literature." Really, no matter how good a book is, at about hour 8 it becomes about "please let those last 50 pages somehow have taken 2 hours to read" rather than about any interesting or compelling literary, informative, or political aspects. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline | 1/12/2014

    " Absolutely loved this book;great story and historical perspective. Allende has an amazing skill to make you feel like you know each one intimately. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 1/9/2014

    " A little anticlimactic - but the character Tete is wonderful. As is the 'villainy' of Valmorain... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holyn | 1/7/2014

    " As always, enchanting, provoking, and with some really interesting history thrown in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deanna Reinoso | 1/6/2014

    " I enjoyed reading a historical novel about Haiti. It was thought provoking as i look at the current situation in Haiti. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allie | 1/2/2014

    " For the longest time, could not tell if this book was fiction or nonfiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sydney | 12/17/2013

    " A masterpiece that spans the live of a slave and her master over several decades in the 17th century. This is a rare historical fictitious tale that will have the reader riveted from page 1 and would highly recommend it to anyone whom is interested in this genre. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vera | 12/14/2013

    " Very sweet book. Not the ending I wanted though! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 12/3/2013

    " Timeless portrait of vanities, foibles & other interesting assorted human hang-ups. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arden | 11/25/2013

    " Loved it. Allende has a magical way of writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 11/21/2013

    " I kept looking for the other worldliness of Allende's books and never found it. It is an interesting history of Haiti and her people....it's dry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah-Hope | 9/30/2013

    " Beautiful, like all of Allende's books and well worth a rereading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Agnes | 6/10/2013

    " Listened to the audiobook, and would highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicky | 2/27/2013

    " So good i didn't want it to end! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 1/22/2013

    " not complicated, but a good read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Parker | 11/21/2012

    " Not as good as some of Allende's other books (Zorros, Daughter of Fortune), but still a rich story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon D'arpino | 8/5/2012

    " What a beautiful book. It was difficult to understand where it was going initially, but it was worth the wait. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori Baker | 4/3/2012

    " Fascinating and haunting. I will never look at my sugar bowl the same again. Eye opener on race relations of the era. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eleanor Groom | 12/30/2011

    " Lovely story and good history about Haiti and New Orleans circa 1800. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roberta | 12/12/2011

    " loved it but it dragged a little mid-way "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zoe Barnard | 10/1/2011

    " Per usual for Allende, interesting characters, good historical research, parts were hard to read and made me think. I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 9/5/2011

    " an amazing book, full of rich characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathryn | 5/21/2011

    " I was an early Allende fan but now it seems she is always telling the same story using different settings and characters. This time it's New Orleans via Saint-Domingue. Slavery was a bad idea, but we already knew that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 5/20/2011

    " Good historical fiction regarding slavery, however, it was a little slow in places "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 5/20/2011

    " Her best ever! An historical fiction about the Dominican Republic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 5/19/2011

    " About Haiti and New Orleans in the 1800s with slavery, plantation owners, rebels and the Napoleon all wrapped up in a tight story that was a joy to read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michaela | 5/15/2011

    " I like books where you get a story and you get to learn some history. i learned a lot about Haiti. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pvillehol | 5/3/2011

    " A rich history of Saint Dominques when ruled by Spain, France, then no one but the uprising of the slaves. A look into the life through slaves, freedom, onto New Orleans and the same there. All done with Allende's magical prose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 5/2/2011

    " I really enjoyed this novel. I read some other reviews of the book, and many commented on the depressing nature of the subject matter. I didn't really feel that as I read it because I felt the character of Zarite persevered and remained strong despite being a slave. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 4/27/2011

    " a soaring tale of life in Haiti in 1790-1800 during the revolt of the slaves. The main character - a young slave - is amazing. Loved the history, horrified by the treatment of the slaves, loved the well developed characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 zein | 4/26/2011

    " I learned a lot about slavery in Haiti and the United States. A must read. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende, born in Peru and raised in Chile, is the author of many bestselling novels, including, Ines of My Soul, Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. She has also written a collection of stories; three memoirs, The Sum of Our Days, My Invented Country, and Paula; and a trilogy of young adult novels. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages and have become bestsellers across four continents. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in California.

About the Narrator

S. Epatha Merkerson plays the role of Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the perennial hit series Law & Order. An Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award winner, Merkerson has won critical acclaim for her brilliant work in theater, television, and film. She is a native of Detroit and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wayne State University. She lives in New York City.