Book Review: Red Island House by Andrea Lee

Good morning bookworms! I want to start by saying thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. This one publishes tomorrow!

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I give this one 3 stars. It was not what I thought it was going to be but it was still good. This book doesn’t read like a novel, it’s more like each chapter is a short story with a few central characters. The timeline stretches for 40ish years so each new chapter is happening years apart. The main character Shay is an African-American scholar, who meets her husband Senna in Italy. He is in the process of building a vacation house in Madagascar. All the stories happen at the Red House on the island of Madagascar. The book started out quite interestingly with the young married couple spending their summer break at the vacation house. There’s some trouble between Shay and the house manager and one of the island staff, Bertine, helps her get rid of him with some magic. I really enjoyed that story and that is what hooked me in but there wasn’t really any magic after that. There were interesting stories centering around Shay and the house and other people on the island, or her husband. The stories are good but nothing really amazing. It was too disjointed for me. For example, the chapter with Bertine, I found her so interesting but then she isn’t in the book again until near the end. Overall I thought it was good, but not great. The short story style wasn’t for me, but maybe you would like that.

Happy Reading!


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