A beautifully written story of great loss, the seeking of redemption and eventually finding of one’s self.
Alice Dupont is a happily married woman enjoying life with her adoring husband Chris. It is obvious that each has found the perfect mate in the other. They have one young daughter and Alice pregnant with another child. Chris had founded a small business building tennis courts which has become successful enough possibly due to his background of playing tennis on a semi professional basis. His work takes him to sites around his home area in getting business. He has always kept in close touch with Alice while traveling and made it obvious that it is her that he thinks about.
Suddenly Alice’s world comes crashing down on her head when she receives a dreaded call from the police that Chris has been severely injured in an auto crash. She rushes to the hospital that he is in but unfortunately only in time to learn that he has passed away from his injuries. After the funeral Alice decides that in order to find some sort of closure she has to learn about the project he has been working on when killed. When she finds that the accident occurred several hundred miles away from where he was scheduled to be Alice decides to discover where he actually was and what he was doing. Determination is made that Chris was on an island near Nantucket in Massachusetts. Made independent by a hefty insurance settlement Alice moves to that island and begins her search for Chris’ reason to be there and if he had been there more than once.
The story of her search and her experiences in befriending other residents of the island comprise the major part of the novel. There is no horror to the story and one that follows Alice’s closure as well as that of several of the island’s residents. Written originally in Spanish and later translated into English, Sanchez Arelvalo’s novel reaches a level of beauty that does captivate the reader. The ending is well done and an adventure into a level of prose that is a pleasure to find and certainly indicative of both a very skilled author and a translator that has complete understanding of the nuances of both English and Spanish. I trust that we will see additional works by the author translated into English for our great enjoyment.
4/19 Paul Lane
ALICE’S ISLAND by Daniel Sanchez Arelvalo. Atria Books (April 16, 2019). ISBN 978-1501171956. 400p.