In 1908, under orders to defend a tiny, isolated Pacific atoll from an improbable French invasion, Mexican captain Ramón Arnaud, his young bride, Alicia, and eleven soldiers and their families set sail for the so-called Isle of Passion. In this dire, forbidding place, a viable community is created under Ramón's guidance and inspired by Alicia's dedication. But they are soon forgotten by a motherland distracted by political upheaval and the first rumblings of World War I. Left to the mercies of nature and one another—falling victim one by one to disease, hunger, lust, despair, and, ultimately, violence—the castaways who remain must find strength in the courage and steadfast resourcefulness of Alicia Arnaud, upon whom their collective survival now depends.
Based on true events, Laura Restrepo's Isle of Passion is a brilliantly rendered and dramatic tale of savage human nature—and one woman's determination to triumph over a harrowing fate.