The Island Escape is a wonderfully written story focusing on two long-time friends and how both their lives are affected when one of them finds herself going through a divorce.
Roberta is the elegant one, accustomed to a life of wealth. She is unhappily married to Scott—a successful businessman who can be very charming when he wants to be—and mother to their only child. She once dreamed of being an interior designer, but Scott wouldn’t allow her to do it. When they’re together, Roberta spends most of her time trying to gauge his moods, hoping she won’t say or do anything that brings out the bullying, controlling side of him.
Octavia is the adventurous one—or rather, she used to be. When she and Roberta were young, Octavia was all about spontaneity. Eighteen years later, she is married to practical, predictable Jonathan, who has always been more interested in work and his high expectations of their household should run, than in helping an often frazzled Octavia care for their three children. She loves him, but she can’t help but remember her time in Corsica with the equally adventurous Xavi, the young man she loved and lost. Wondering if he was still there… and if he ever thought of her.
I was familiar with Kerry Fisher’s work, having read another of her novels, After the Lie, last month. While it was the beautiful cover that first caught my eye, seeing her name at the top (before I’d even read the synopsis) was enough for me to decide I wanted to read this book. I expected a well-written, engrossing novel full of interesting characters and emotional situations, and Fisher didn’t disappoint. I was completely caught up in everything Roberta and Octavia were going through, and felt protective of them when I felt someone else in the story was treating them unfairly.
The best thing about reading is that you can ‘visit’ places you’ll never go, and ‘see’ things you’ll never actually see, if the writing is good enough. Corsica and Sardinia—places that are only names on a map to me—came alive for me through Fisher’s vivid imagery.
While I won’t give away anything that happens, I will say that I loved the ending. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it was definitely satisfying!
I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy quality women’s fiction. Put this one on your TBR list now. You won’t regret it.
About the Book
Can one woman’s marriage survive her best friend’s divorce? Emily Giffin meets Jennifer Weiner in this summer’s must-have read.
What if there was somewhere you could disappear to?
Octavia Shelton thought she’d have a different life. One where she travelled the world with an exotic husband and free-spirited children in tow.
Instead, she’s married to safe, reliable Jonathan, and her life now consists of school pick-ups and mountains of dirty laundry. She’s not unhappy. It’s just that she can barely recognise herself.
So as Octavia watches her best friend’s marriage break up, it gets her thinking. What if life could be different? What if she could escape and rediscover the person she used to be? Escape back to the island she visited years ago? And what if the man she used to love was there waiting for her?
About the Author
Born in Peterborough, KERRY FISHER studied French and Italian, and taught English in Corsica and Spain before climbing to holiday rep and grape picker in Tuscany. She eventually returned to England to ‘get a proper job’, and spent two years in features at Essentials magazine. She now lives in Surrey with her husband, two teenagers and a very naughty lab/schnauzer called Poppy.
Kerry’s first novel, The School Gate Survival Guide, was published by Avon, HarperCollins in 2014. Her second book, The Island Escape, came out in May 2015. It won first prize at the York Festival of Writing for the opening line: ‘I was wearing the wrong bra for sitting in a police cell’.
Author photo and bio via Bookouture.