'Land of Love and Drowning': Yanique makes Virgin Islands seem vast in debut
For most of us, if we think about the U.S. Virgin Islands at all, we think just of tropical resorts and hurricanes. Tiphanie Yanique's debut novel, “Land of Love and Drowning,” is a deft argument that a rich and complicated culture is waiting just beyond the tourists, if we dare ask some uncomfortable questions about who we are and whom we love.
Yanique is herself from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and she draws on her family heritage to craft a saga that spans generations. She makes a handful of overlooked Caribbean islands seem like a vast and vital landscape.
In “Land of Love and Drowning,” three generations of beautiful Bradshaw women bewitch the men of St. Thomas through the islands' transfer to American control, World War II, segregation and the aftermath of a catastrophic hurricane. Secrets and jealousies shadow the relationship between two sisters and set them apart from other islanders as they all lurch through historical changes.
In less confident hands, “Land of Love and Drowning” would have faltered and failed to reconcile its blend of myth and modernity. Yanique has written the best kind of summer read — lurid, yet layered and literary.
Jennifer Kay is a staff writer for the Associated Press.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Review: James Abel delivers a winner with ‘White Plague’
- Tim Johnston’s ‘Descent’ twists a familiar trope in an unforgettable novel
- Christopher Scotton’s ‘Secret Wisdom of the Earth’ is a marvelous blend
- ‘Pittsburgh Dad’ book to include best Yinzer rants
- Bloomfield bookstore owner bucks naysayers
- Memorial reading in Bloomfield to honor award-winning poet Kinnell