(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

In Voyage to the Island, readers enter three unusual worlds. First and most important, Nieminen offers readers a graphic sense of what it means to be deaf. Through her accounts of her own increasing deafness as well as her work with hearing-impaired children on St. Lucia, hearing readers will gain insight into what it means to rely on sight for communication. Second, Nieminen gives a vivid picture of the culture of a Caribbean island where the mostly African-descended inhabitants struggle to survive while North American and European tourists, business people, and consultants lead lives of luxury (and have the ever-present option of returning to their relatively prosperous homelands when they so choose). Finally, Voyage to the Island reveals much about the values and culture of a middle- class Finnish family, the members of which come to appreciate their own society through their experiences as expatriates.

(The entire section is 145 words.)