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Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes
This debut novel from Jennifer Vanderbes tells the story of two women who both visited Easter Island. In 1974, Elsa Pendleton travels to the island with her husband on a 4-year trip financed by the Royal Geographic Society to study the moai statues there. Her marriage is one of convenience so that she can continue to care for her mentally-handicapped sister who makes the trip with them. Greer Faraday, a botanist, visits the island 60 years later to do pollen studies. She's trying to get over the death of her famous husband and their brief, troubled marriage. Both women must deal with unraveling secrets of their own lives as they endeavor to discover the secerts of Easter Island. A third storyline concerning the flight of the German fleet across the Pacific Ocean during World War I connects both women's lives together. Easter Island has received many glowing reviews. The Denver Post calls it "one of those impressive debut novels that comes along once a year - or once every two years - and demands that readers heed its existence."