"Brilliant and tragic." —Booklist, starred review
"A mesmerizing novel... The lush natural habitat and privileged ex-pat existence contrast starkly with the island’s poverty and traditions, and Lee makes magic of this to deliver a singularly intriguing and mysterious saga that casts an enduring spell."
—O Magazine, Most Anticipated Books of 2021
"Gorgeous writing, fascinating stories, and a vibrant cast of locals and expats dance around this basic theme ... An utterly captivating, richly detailed, and highly critical vision of how the one percent lives in neocolonial paradise."
—Kirkus, starred review
"Seductive... the writing is vivid... the overall impact is quietly powerful."
"Lee is known for the evocative settings of her...books...I’m excited to travel to Madagascar with her new novel."
—The Every Girl
“Andrea Lee's new novel — about a Black American woman caught between her privilege and her identity — is daring, riveting and deep. The lavish vacation home she and her husband build on an impoverished African island is a collision course, and like this novel, will make you question everything you thought you understood — about allegiance and race, politics and desire.”
—Danzy Senna, author of New People
"Andrea Lee's latest novel is a work of supreme knowingness, and keen observation. As one of the more articulate voices we have on the exigencies of race, place, and gender, Lee has rendered, in this superbly constructed and felt book, that rare thing: a work of the imagination as shattering as the truth."
—Hilton Als, author of The Women and White Girls
“‘In Madagascar, everything speaks’ . . . if you can hear it. And hear it all does Andrea Lee’s exquisitely sentient protagonist. At first dimly, but then with an ever more discerning ear, Shay attunes herself and the reader to subtlety after subtlety, until the island has yielded extraordinary truths, not only about itself, its people, and its visitors, but about the undertow of plunder. This is a ravishing book ofuncommon depth; I loved it.”
—Gish Jen, author of The Resisters
“Lee’s Red Island House is a seductive, haunted dreamscape where ancestors stir trouble across four centuries and three continents. From the moment Shay Senna arrives at this seaside Madagascar paradise, she senses danger. Betrayal comes but so does reconciliation and a healing sisterhood, as Lee lures us into a realm where boundaries between the real and the surreal disappear.”
—A’Lelia Bundles, author of Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker
"This magical novel—a collection of reflections and vignettes—is as lush, dense and vivid as the Madagascar it describes. Pairing rich detail with reflective restraint, Lee has created something truly beautiful: At once an exploration of an enchanted island and a meditation on modern womanhood."
—Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go
"At once charming and deeply serious, this eloquent, elegant, beautifully written novel takes on the full range of human experience: love and disappointment, hope and betrayal, race, class, colonialism, moral obligation, the high cost of being an outsider--and the equally high price of belonging."
—Francine Prose, author of Mister Monkey
"I know of no other writer who creates the kinds of worlds Andrea Lee imagines—the exquisite prose, the otherworldly landscapes, the fascinating people. Red Island House transported me. It may have looked like I was sitting on my couch reading a book, but I’m telling you I traveled to Madagascar.”
—Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of Wench and Balm