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Lyrical, Innovative, an all around amazing read!
If you are looking for an book that takes an innovative look at relationships between colonizers and the colonized this is the book for you. Chantal
T. Spitz Islands of Shattered Dreams tells the story of a family experiencing the colonization of their indigenous lands and the effects that it has on each individual member. While there is an element of romance throughout the novel it is not the focus, Spitz mainly uses it as a tool to humanize the face of the colonial power, something that is not always seen in books about the colonization of indigenous people. By adding this element Spitz traps the audience into not only sympathizing with the colonizer but also rooting for her love story to end happily even though it is doomed from the start.
Another aspect of this novel that makes it such a good read is the genealogical ties that she draws between the mixed race families on the island. While she looks at the family as a unit and showcases the strengths that they have together she also develops each and every character painting them as their own individual person. She creates different ties with each member of the family, some identify with the white blood in their veins while others identify with their indigenous people’s ties. Regardless of what side they choose the members still showcase an unrelenting and unwavering love for each other that cannot be broken even as their dreams are shattering around them.
A well written narrative with even better written poems woven in and out of the story Island of Shattered Dreams is a novel that you cannot afford to miss. The family, the topic of colonization, the doomed love story, the topic of mixed race people, Spitz spins together all of these elements and wraps them up nicely in a novel that will have you thinking about colonization in a whole different light.
 

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Best written book I have ever read. If you have a passion for the Pacific Islands, read this book. Coming from an anthropologist, this is the best indigenous insight I have ever read about French Polynesia. Respect!

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