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"Masterful...simply wonderful... an] exquisite retelling of The Tempest."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Absorbing... Nunez] writes novels that resound with thunder and fury."
"A story about the transformative power of love...Readers are sure to enjoy the journey."
--Black Issues Book Review
Prospero's Daughter is a captivating recreation of Shakespeare's The Tempest set on a verdant Caribbean island during the height of tensions between the native population and British colonists. Using Shakespeare's play as a template to address questions of race, class, and power, Nunez turns an intimate eye to an unlikely bond formed between a boy and a girl of disparate backgrounds.
When Peter Gardner's ruthless medical genius leads him to experiment on his unwitting patients--often at the expense of their lives--he flees England, seeking an environ where his experiments might continue without scrutiny. He arrives with his three-year-old-daughter, Virginia, in Chacachacare, an isolated island off the coast of Trinidad, in the early 1960s.
Gardner considers the locals to be nothing more than savages. He assumes ownership of the home of a servant boy named Carlos, seeing in him a suitable subject upon whom to continue his amoral medical work. Nonetheless, he educates the boy alongside Virginia. As Virginia and Carlos grow and come of age together, they form a covert relationship that violates the outdated mores of colonial rule.
When Gardner unveils the pair's relationship and accuses Carlos of a monstrous act, the investigation into the truth is left up to a curt, stonehearted British inspector, whose inquiries bring to light a horrendous secret. At turns epic and intimate, Prospero's Daughter is one of the finest novels of the past two decades.