Tracy Novinger, M.A., born in Aruba, was a third-generation member of her family living there. At age ten, her family moved to Brazil where she attended local schools and thrived until moving to the U.S., where she graduated with a B.A. degree at nineteen. From the U.S. she promptly took off to French Polynesia, living for nine years in Tahiti. She translated for the French courts. She speaks four languages fluently, with an elementary command of two more. An author of two non-fiction books illuminating how cultural differences can cause communication problems, she saves travelers from gaffes that cause hard feelings. Novinger’s first book of fiction is "Betrayal on Aruba Winds" (2018). Kirkus Reviews describes the heroine as “unforgettable” and the story as “a vivid historical epic that’s expansive in scope yet intimate in focus.” Based on personal experience, Novinger confides that this story had to be told as fiction to protect the guilty. Discover what you never knew about World War II in Aruba.
“'Betrayal on Aruba Winds', the novel, is 'a vivid historical epic'.”
– Kirkus Reviews
In this novel, a businesswoman at a personal and professional crossroads discovers that the secrets of her past may help her solve problems in her turbulent present.
At 31, Alissia Aruba Saxton has a life that many would envy. She works for an import company in the United States and has a devoted fiance named Tom. While she places a premium on responsibility, she also yearns for the casual spontaneity of Aruba, the island of her birth. Shortly before her wedding, she fights with Tom, makes mistakes at work, and suffers from nightmares. Believing her present problems are rooted in her past, she returns to Aruba, where she reconnects with her mother’s dear friend Rika and recalls the people and places that shaped her life. Her father, Stass, worked for the oil refinery, and her mother, Nessa, was a housewife whose dreams of attending college were thwarted by the high cost of education. Alissia was an observant child who spent much of her time exploring the island with her friend Eddie Williams and observing the men who worked with her father. However, her memories of the island also have a dark side—one that comes into focus when she examines the lingering effects of an assault and her role in a mysterious death. Novinger’s (Intercultural Communication, 2001, etc.) novel is a sweeping historical epic that explores themes of memory, guilt, and responsibility while introducing an unforgettable heroine. Throughout, Alissia is haunted by one simple question: “Is my paradise something I made up?” Her search leads to revelations that are shocking and thought-provoking. The island setting plays an important part in the novel, as well, and Novinger creates a richly detailed portrait of Aruba in the 1940s and ’50s, highlighting aspects of everyday life and showing the importance of the oil industry to the local economy.
A vivid historical epic that’s expansive in scope yet intimate in focus.
Pub Date: March 2, 2018
Page count: 356pp
Publisher: Morpho Publishing, Inc.
Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018
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Aruba, Netherland West Antilles
Favorite line from a book
If history were told in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. -Rudyard Kipling
Unexpected skill or talent
Tracy Novinger has hiked the Atlantic Pyrénées, stood in the Nebrodi mountains to look down at Messina Straits, protected migrating honey-buzzards from trophy hunters by standing with others in front of hunters' guns.
Passion in life
Roads less traveled.
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