San Miguel

by T C Boyle

An enjoyable historical novel in three parts, each named after three very different women who run the house on a small and desolate island in the Pacific between 1888 and WWII. The author’s use of actual memoirs lends authenticity to the harsh lives and isolation faced by those pioneering families and yet, as the measured narrative races through the years, San Miguel itself is revealed as the strongest character of all


The footing was bad, but she’d expected that – what she hadn’t expected was the feeling of release that swept over her as soon as the door pulled shut behind her. She was out of doors, only that, and it came to her that it was the first time she’d been out in days. The house loomed at her back, but she never turned her head. She was watching her feet, concentrating on keeping her balance in the rolling sepia mud that clung to the toes of her boots and sucked at her heels.


The Piano by Jane Campion

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