Island on the Edge of the World by Deborah Rodriguez, the international bestselling author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, is set in the exotic but chaotic land of Haiti.
Charlie, age 27, is estranged from her mother, April, and step-father, Jim, whose calling has taken them to Haiti. Living with her grandmother, Charlie works as a hairdresser in her grandmother’s salon – “Bea’s Hive Hairdressing” in Carmel, N. California.
Bea, a psychic, dreams that her daughter, April, is unhappy and in need of help. She wants Charlie to reconnect with April by travelling to Haiti to find her. Sensing Charlie’s reluctance, Bea decides to go with her.
On the journey they meet up with Lizbeth Johnston, who has lost both her husband and only child in the past few months. Her son, Luke, had been working as an NGO, helping the people of Haiti, before he returned home to help his mother nurse his sick father.
After Luke’s death Lizbeth received a letter from a young woman named Senzey, who lives in Port-au-Prince and who claims to be pregnant with Luke’s child. Lizbeth decides to search for the young woman and the unknown grandchild.
Charlie and Bea decide to help her in her quest and persuade Lizbeth to stay with them in their hotel.
Needing help in such a disordered foreign country, Charlie employs Mackenson, a young man, who acts as their interpreter and guide.
While Charlie, Lizbeth and Mackenson search the streets of Port-au-Prince, Bea meets an intriguing Frenchman, also staying at their hotel. Robert is a professor of cultural anthropology from Lyon and has come to Haiti to research werewolves.
In a short time this diverse group of travellers form an invincible team. Will their combined determination find a lost child, despite the odds set against them, and will Charlie ever reconcile with her mother?
Behind the fiction of this heart-warming, and often suspenseful, novel, set on the island of Haiti, is the grimmer reality of the lives of the people who live there. The author reveals the darker side of the current situation, which was brought about by the devastating earthquake of 2010.
When charity organisations moved in to help those communities in need, they unwittingly made things worse. Crime increased as the population of the island did what they could to survive. Corrupt individuals made millions from human trafficking and prostitution. Local bona fide businesses struggled to survive as charities handed out donated commodities.
But, slowly this state of affairs is being turned around by the tenacity of the local people, who believe that they can overcome poverty and become a thriving independent nation once more.
This inspiring and informative novel by a very talented and knowledgeable author is a must read.
Island on the Edge of the World is available in paperback and e-book
About Deborah Rodriguez
Deborah Rodriguez is the author of the international bestsellers ‘The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul’ and ‘Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul’. She has also written two memoirs: ‘The Kabul Beauty School’, about her life in Afghanistan, and ‘The House on Carnaval Street’, on her experiences following her return to America. She spent five years teaching and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan.
Deborah also owned the Oasis Salon and the Cabul Coffee House, and is the founder of the non-profit organization Oasis Rescue, which aims to teach women in post-conflict and disaster-stricken areas the art of hairdressing.
She currently lives in Mazatlán, Mexico, where she owns Tippy Toes salon and spa.