Red Island House

Red Island House

Shay is surprised when her husband Senna declares his intention to build her a spectacular dream house on an idyllic beach in the tropical island nation of Madagascar.

But the Red Island House casts a spell from the moment she sees it, and before she knows it Shay has become the somewhat reluctant mistress of a sprawling household, caught between her privileged American upbringing and education, and her connection to the continent of her ancestors.

At first, she’s content to be an observer of the passionate affairs and fierce ambitions and rivalries around her. But as she and her husband raise children and establish their own rituals on the island, Shay finds herself drawn ever deeper into an extraordinary place with its own laws and logic, a provocative paradise full of magic and myth whose fraught colonial legacy continues to reverberate. Soon the collision of cultures comes right to Shay’s door, forcing her to make a life-altering decision.

A sweeping novel about marriage and loyalty, identity and heritage, fate and freedom, Red Island House reintroduces readers to a powerhouse literary voice and an extravagantly lush, enchanted world.

Title:Red Island House
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781982137809
Format Type:

    Red Island House Reviews

  • Jenny Lawson

    Beautifully written. It seems less of a novel and more of a collection of short stories (all with the same central character) that explore race, class, othering, death, betrayal and a million other to...

  • Sue

    Now and then I come upon a novel so artfully written, so evocative of a place, and so packed with ideas that I want to continue thinking about it rather than move on to another book. Andrea Lee’s Th...

  • Beverly

    This mesmerizing book opens as Shay Gilliam, a Black American intellectual married to Senna a tycoon Italian businessman, and unwilling mistress of the Red House, a sprawling big house and household ...

  • Carole Bell

    A lush, lyrical, and dense saga about place, love, culture and identity with a touch of magical realism....Lee’s striking writing is layered and thick with evocative descriptions of people, landscap...

  • Melissa

    *This book was received as an advanced reader's copy from NetGalley.Red Island House is one of the more unusual books I've read this year. Not in the sense of dystopia, invention, or paranormal; but r...

  • Celeste Miller

    What a beautifully written book! I read this slowly, savoring the descriptive language and the evocation of the tropical island Naratrany. It is almost a series of short stories, though Shay and the R...

  • Cassidy Washburn

    Red Island House is gorgeously written; a journey of discovery that is as seductive as it is evocative. Taking place over the course of 20 years, the story follows Shay as she grapples with her new re...

  • switterbug (Betsey)

    This isn’t a one size fits all novel. It isn’t for everyone, but it hit a sweet spot for me. It was unfamiliar, foreign, colorful, erotic, and otherworldly at times. The protagonist is a Black Ame...

  • Eule Luftschloss

    trigger warning(view spoiler)[ drug abuse, child neglect, miscarriage, n-word in colloquial use, misogyny, ableism, racism, results of colonialism, mention of rape, mention of suicide, lynching, menta...

  • Whitney Lawton

    I really was excited about this book. The storyline was intriguing and I was looking forward to a novel based in Madagascar, as I have limited knowledge of this country. I also was fascinated by the m...