Atria, Aug 2004, 23.00, 232 pp.
On the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, someone leaves an infant with a slashed throat in the garbage and Dr. Jean Pinceau takes the lifeless infant to his office. There he reattaches her head to her body and brings the baby back to life. He and his wife adopt Celanarie, but nothing goes smoothly. Celanarie uses a feral canine to kill Jean's spouse and later has him exiled as a broken man when she lies about Jean sexually accosting her.
With a scarf to hide her neckline scars, Celanarie travels to the Ivory Coast where she opens up a school for illegitimate children. Though highly regarded, the school also serves as a brothel. Those who complain, Celanarie either seduces or kills. After a time, she leaves Africa for South America and eventually returns to her Caribbean home where she plans to find her biological parents and learn why they wanted her dead before planning to kill them and others who abetted them. The truth will become even more dramatic than the sacrificial lamb she once was.
This is a dark thriller starring an unlikable deadly heroine who seeks vengeance on those that harmed her.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner