Return to the Enchanted Island

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

"Return to the Enchanted Island" by Johary Ravaloson and translated by Allison Charette.

This books is only the second book to be translated from Madagascar to English, and has won the Prix du Roman de l'Ocean Indien prize. 

The book is divided into three massive chapters- Ietsy Razak's early life in Madagascar, his life in a boarding school in France and then his return to the "enchanted island", as Madagascar is also lovingly named. The story was okay for me, I pushed through almost did not finish but I wanted to know what the life of a privileged boy was like for "The Blessed One, The Great Ancestor". The writing style was really not for me. I enjoy a story line that is less complex and a lot easier to follow. There is also a lack of a solid plot and the prose so dense and complex that I get lost in the story line. I am certain there would be others that would really enjoy the complexity of the Madagascar ancestral stories intermingled with current day juxtaposition. 

Thank you Netgalley and Amazon for the ARC ebook for an objective review.
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DNF 20%
I'm not sure if I should blame the format I've been reading but I'm finding that each paragraph of this novella is very dense, so much so that I often could not make sense of what I was being told. The writing also uses a lot of terms that don't really fit with what is being addressed or described.
The somewhat disjointed yet impenetrable prose also implemented brackets in an incorrect way: for example at 11% there are about 100 words between two bracket...this didn't really add anything to the style or the story.
Maybe other readers will find it easier to navigate this heavy narrative but I'm going to give this a hard pass.
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This is a beautiful retelling of Madagascar's origin story. I loved it and couldn't pit it down. I was captivated from the first page. Absolutely beautiful. 

I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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