Members are enjoying FREE SHIPPING on orders of $35 or more! Log in now

The Roving Tree

Iris, a five-year-old Haitian girl, is adopted by a white American couple and grows up caught between two worlds.

Pub Ed. $15.95 (Save 18%)
Member Edition

“A gorgeous new novel.”—Edwidge Danticat

This acclaimed debut novel tells the story of Iris Odys. She is the offspring of Hagathe, a Haitian maid, and Brahami, a French-educated mulatto father, who cares little about his child. When Iris is five years old, Hagathe, who dreams of a better life for her child, offers Iris up for adoption by a white American couple. Caught between two worlds—suburban America and Haiti under Papa Doc's repressive regime—Iris shares her life experiences, from her intense love affair to poignant revelations of her relationships with family and friends. The novel offers a unique glimpse into the class discrimination and political repression of Haiti of the Duvalier era, along with the subtle but nonetheless dangerous effects of American racism.


Elsie Augustave has created a stunning tale with beautiful, lyrical language, but she also deals with very real issues like poverty, the position of women in our society, the aftermath of sexual assault and what it means to belong. The characters are rich, complicated and full of color and nuance, especially Iris, who we watch grow into a woman over the course of the novel. There is mystery and intrigue and no lack of magic: the story begins with a conversation with a character from beyond the grave. I also love that the author, a teacher of French and Caribbean studies adores and appreciates black culture from all over the world—she indulges this with her vivid descriptions of Haiti, America, and Zaire. I recommend this book for lovers of mystery and intrigue, young women (or parents of them) who are coming to terms with their identities, and anyone who likes to get lost in a fantastic story. —Danielle


Elsie Augustave was born in Haiti. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Howard University and has been a Fulbright Scholar. She teaches at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. This is her first novel.

  • SKU: 000000000001375244
  • Author: Elsie Augustave
  • Publisher: AKASHIC BOOKS
  • Release date: May 7, 2013
  • ISBN: No
  • Format: Softcover
  • Commitment Credit: 1
  • Book Search Plus: No
  • Warnings: No warnings
  • Height: 0.000
  • Length: 0.000
  • Width: 0.000

Write a Review

Only registered users can write reviews. Please, log in or register