A while back I reviewed Kerry Fisher’s first book, The School Gate Survival Guide – and I loved it. I was excited to read her new book, The Island Escape – and I was not disappointed!
This book is about two life-long friends, Roberta and Octavia. The story alternates between each of their points of view: first chapter through Roberta’s eyes, then one through Octavia’s. They are both having their own issues with their husbands, and at separate points in the book, each of their lives seem to unravel.
Octavia was always the more rebellious of the two, travelling all over the globe until she found herself pregnant and married. Now she finds herself spending all her time either at work or cleaning up after the children so that her straight-laced husband doesn’t moan about toast crumbs on the worktop. Roberta on the other hand is more prim and proper; she grew up with money and lived with her husband and daughter in what appears to have been a massive house complete with its own gym.
I was gripped from the very first chapter, which sees Roberta being taken to a cell in a police station following her arrest. Unlike a lot of books though, it didn’t just start with something designed to catch the reader’s attention and then tail off – I found I was hooked all the way through, unable to put the book down and going to bed earlier and earlier in order to read a little more.
Roberta and Octavia have very different characters and backgrounds, but they seem to complement each other so that it’s entirely believable they would be best friends. I love that although a chapter might be written from one friend’s point of view, it might also be largely focussing on the other friend’s story. And then, just when a chapter ended with a cliffhanger about one story, the next chapter carried on with the other story!
The story moves along quickly, with lots of laugh out loud moments, as well as many poignant turns. I love the brilliant turns of phrase used through the book and the way all of the dialogue seems entirely believable. There were a couple of bits that I could see coming beforehand, but most of the story had me guessing, especially the ending. I found that I was completely taken in by the characters and at one point (when I should have been working) I found myself thinking about the characters as if they were people I knew – wondering what would happen to them!
A sure sign of a great book is that feeling you get when you finish reading: Oh. What will I read now? I definitely have that with this book.
Thanks for reading.