A Violent storm in the South Pacific, in the year 1643, leaves Roberto della Griva shipwrecked. He finds refuge on the ship Daphne, which is anchored by an island, and he finds the ship to be abandoned yet mysteriously filled with provisions. As he explores the abandoned ship he also remembers the past as he begins to recalls his childhood, his imaginary evil brother Ferrante, the war in which he and his father fought, the siege, and his encounters and lessons with various characters. The novel The Island of The Day Before, by Umberto Eco, provides a true full on experience of the Renaissance age; Love letters, dramatic battles, sword fights, and sea exploration. What’s most appealing about this book is the relationship between the narrator and the protagonist, Roberto. The narrator does his job to tell the story, and then some, by clarifying and upholding the truth whenever Roberto’s imagination and ego causes confusion within the story. The narrator’s sardonic tone adds a bit of comedy to the story, even in times of tragedy.
Roberto follows the philosophy of the philosopher Pierre Gassendi, who teaches that intellect is gained by experience through the senses, which is a philosophy which we see present within Roberto’s dreams and experiences.
Later on in the story, Roberto joins a group of great thinkers, and then is later framed for a crime he did not commit. He is given a chance for freedom by the Cardinal Mazarin, which is to become a spy on a ship where a mysterious man, by the name Dr. Byrd, is rumored to have discovered a way to determine longitude while at sea. While embarking on his mission, and after finding out the secret behind Dr.Byrds method, the ship is destroyed. Roberto is the only survivor, and finds himself on the ship Daphne where he finds himself embarking on a new adventure, full of mystery, friendship, and tragedy.
This novel is filled with romance, comedy, tragedy, insight, philosophy, and adventure all wrapped into the story of one man. The story begins to build its momentum after a few chapters, and soon you find yourself immersed in the story of Roberto, and the mysteries which surround him.