A Drink Called Paradise by Terese Svoboda
A Novel

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Clare, an L.A. ad executive, finds herself stranded on a remote island in the South Pacific. Barclay, an enigmatic local leader, cannot tell her when the next boat is coming, nor will he unravel the disturbing mysteries that pervade the island. Why is her hostess, Ngarima, indifferent to the intruder who attempts to rape Clare? Why does Ngarima's son brave the sea in a homemade boat in a desperate attempt to escape the island? And what has happened to the eerily misshapen boy who inhabits the lagoon? Women mob Harry, Clare's fellow castaway, so he has no patience for her growing fears. It is finally the island women - Breasts for Three, Clam Hold, and The Spreader - who reveal a life force gone awry and the terrifying secrets that force Clare to confront what she herself has shut away. Drawing on the author's own experience of Tahitian, Pukapukan, and Marshall Island cultures, the luminous prose of A Drink Called Paradise is haunted by living ghosts, islanders moving in the shadow of the past that we all must account for.

About Terese Svoboda

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A native of Nebraska, Terese Svoboda lived for a year in Sudan, making documentary films and translating. She now divides her time between New York and Hawaii.
Published April 2, 1999 by Counterpoint. 160 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Drink Called Paradise

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Poet and novelist Svoboda (Cannibal, 1995) offers an oddly disjointed account of a young woman stranded on a tiny Pacific island recently contaminated by radioactive fallout.

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The first island she and her crew visit does not meet Clare's expectations, so they keep looking, Clare ultimately abandoning the crew and slipping away on a supply boat to visit one of the most remote islands on Earth: "What is one more island, one more week away by boat?"

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