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Easter Island [Paperback]

Jennifer Vanderbes
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

27 May 2004

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...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (27 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349117950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349117959
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 358,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


compelling reading (IRISH EXAMINER)

A stunning story, beautifully told (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Beautifully wrought ... streets ahead of BIRDSONG (TIME OUT)

Part travel adventure, part absorbing scientific discovery, part love story (GUARDIAN)

Book Description

Full of suspense and revelation, EASTER ISLAND is an exceptional, supremely satisfying novel, marking the debut of a brilliant new writer and storyteller.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The decisive moment for Germany's fleet in the Great War was, indisputably, its ill-timed arrival at the Falkland Islands. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Betrayal 1 May 2006
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is a fascinating story, beautifully written. Both main characters are betrayed by people they love and trust, and both story lines - although set in different times - take place on Easter island and link together very cleverly. Also brilliantly mixed in are interesting historical facts, scientific research and ecology of the island. I never expected to learn so much from this book, especially in such an entertaininng style. An impressive read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting away from it all... 13 Jan 2011
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover what Easter Island represents for many people, being one of the most remote locations on earth. I found myself immediately drawn into the story, since the island is both a backdrop and a principal "character" itself. There is that intrinsic fascination with the "moai," the enormous stone statues that have also made the island famous. And as a result of more recent research, Easter Island is a possible paradigm for ecological catastrophe.

Vanderbes alternates two (and a half) tales involving the island, with sixty years separating them. There is an Englishwomen, Elsa Beazley, who sacrificed her own life's ambitions to care for her apparently autistic sister, Alice, and who accepted the offer of marriage from a much older man since she lacked the financial resources to care for her sister on her own. As part of his own research efforts, her husband takes the two women to the island in 1913. And then there is the American researcher, Dr. Greer Farraday, who has far more reason to "get away from it all," arriving in 1973. The "half" are brief chapters on Admiral Graf von Spee, and the fate of the German East Asiatic Squadron as it attempted to return to Germany at the beginning of World War I.

The author's erudition is dazzling, and none of the reviewers have indicated a mistake in her research. There is the pollen analysis of Farraday, and the work Beazley did, both in keeping her sister safe from the "eugenic" theories of the time, as well as trying to decipher the "rongorongo" script. Easter Island is one of the five places in the world that apparently evolved a written alphabet independently.

She is strong on insights into the human condition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 20 Dec 2006
Bought this book after visiting the Island, and I wasn't disappointed. From quite early on it becomes very hard to put down, making you want to learn more and more about the future and the past of the main characters. However I have to say, I was slightly disappointed with the ending. The final revelation, for me, just doesn't make sense. Maybe the author was planning a follow up book, I don't know. If she does though, I would certainly read it.

All in all, a good page turner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars my favourite read ever! 9 May 2011
I read this book a few years ago and have since lost my copy, therefore now online buying a new one! This story has stuck with me ever since i first read it and i honestly think it has been my favourite book ever!!! Anyone thinking about buying it.... DO IT! BUY IT!! you won't be disappointed - it is beautifully written, fasinating and twisty enough to keep you guessing until the end. Love it!
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