Format: Hardcover, 336pp
Pub. Date: February 2006
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
BBP Sales Rank: 30,855
List Price: $24.95
A spellbinding new novel from acclaimed author Elizabeth Nunez, Prospero's
Daughter is a brilliantly conceived retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest set
on a lush Caribbean island during the height of tensions between the native
population and British colonists. Addressing questions of race, class, and
power, it is first and foremost the story of a boy and a girl who come of age
and violate the ultimate taboo.
Cut off from the main island of Trinidad by a glistening green sea,
Chacachacare has few inhabitants besides its colony of lepers and a British
doctor who fled England with his three-year-old daughter, Virginia. An amoral
genius, Peter Gardner had used his talents to unsavory ends, experimenting,
often with fatal results, on unsuspecting patients. Blackmailed by his own
brother, Peter ends up on the small island as England's empire is starting to
On Chacachacare, Peter experiments chiefly on the wild Caribbean flora-and on
the dark-skinned orphan Carlos, whose home he steals. Though Peter considers
the boy no better than a savage, he nonetheless schools the child alongside his
daughter. But as Carlos and Virginia grow up under the same roof, they become
deeply and covertly attached to one another.
When Peter discovers the pair's secret and accuses Carlos of a heinous crime,
it is up to a brusque, insensitive English inspector to discover the truth.
During his investigation, a disturbing picture begins to emerge as a monstrous
secret is finally drawn into the light.