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THE NAKED ISLAND
by Russell Braddon
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In 1787, on the morning of the new moon in July, the Dutch in Java murdered the Indonesian priest Qadar. One hundred years later, the Armenian Sarkies brothers opened the Raffles Hotel in Singapore; a farmhouse was built on Evans Point at the shore of Lake Erie; and in Java, Zulkanyan, a descendent of the slain priest Qadar, suddenly died when a curse he had set against his neighbours turned against him. His soul was set to wander in search of revenge. So begins the mythic tale of Rachel Lynn Gold, a young Jewish woman in small-town Ontario, who, betrayed by her lover and older sister, sets out on an odyssey to India, Nepal, Singapore and Australia in search of her lost self. Far from home and armed with nothing but a broken heart and a restless soul, Rachel is left open and vulnerable to the ghosts that haunt her. It is in Singapore that she meets the unlikely love of her life, Kifli Talib, a Malaysian Muslim, who, unbeknownst to her, is possessed by the dark spirit Zulkanyan. But the Jewish woman-child from Dunnville, Ontario, and the Muslim man-boy from Singapore fall into a forbidden affair, an intense love that both protects and threatens her with complete annihilation. A haunting story of love and betrayal, danger and survival, The Naked Island is a powerful first novel, a lyrical and poetic work that delves into the shifting nature of identity and the hypnotic pull of good and evil.
About the Author
Bryna Wasserman grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. She studied business at Ryerson University and has a BA in English Literature from York University. She has worked in land development and fundraising, and also trained as a boxer in the Canadian Olympic gym alongside Lennox Lewis. She lives in Toronto with her daughter, Ruby, and their four lovebirds. She is working on her second novel.
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