Magic, Myth, & Memory

Land of Love and Drowning: A Novel - Tiphanie Yanique

A sumptuous tale of two sisters and their half-brother entangled by magic, myth, and the pull of memory tinged with illicit love set in the Virgin Islands.


This intergenerational tale covers the years 1916 when the Danish West Indies was transferred to the United States to the 1970s as orphaned sisters Eeona and Annette, often at odds with each other, forge their identities from their legacies commingled with “Americanisms” as half-brother Jacob navigates the muddy waters of lineage secrets. I liked how the use of magical realism gives the story a more unique feeling as it builds tension and moods as readers wonder if the characters decisions are of free will or the pull of the destinies. The transition between first person narrators and the third person narrator seemed choppy at times but I enjoyed how the third person narrator gave their part the feel of oral storytelling.


I appreciated how the author effectively blended history, folklore, and family memoir into a spellbinding story. I recommend to readers of historical fiction, magical realism, and Caribbean history.