Review: 'The Island Escape' by Kerry Fisher (2015)
It’s time to get back to where it all began…
Octavia Sheldon thought she’d have a different life. One where she travelled the world with an exotic husband and free-spirited children in tow. But things didn’t turn out quite like that.
Married to safe, reliable Jonathan, her life now consists of packed lunches, school runs and more loads of dirty washing than she ever thought possible. She’s not unhappy. It’s just that she can barely recognise herself any longer.
So as Octavia watches her best friend’s marriage break up, it starts her thinking. What if life could be different? What if she could escape and get back to the person she used to be? Escape back to the island where she spent her summers? And what if the man she used to love was there waiting for her…?
Ever since I got the chance to read and review Kerry Fisher's novel 'The School Gate Survival Guide' in 2014 (click here to read my review), I've been looking forward to reading more of her work. It took me a bit of time, but I've finally managed to get a copy of Kerry's second novel 'The Island Escape', which was first released in May 2015 by Avon (thanks so much to Kerry herself and Helena from Avon!). As Spring is slowly coming our way this month, I can't help but start thinking of summer holidays, so 'The Island Escape' seemed like the ideal read to sit down with to already feel a bit of the upcoming sunshine!
Octavia and Roberta have been the best of friends for years; the kind of friends that are there for each other whenever, wherever, whatever. Now in their late thirties, they are both married with children, but their lives are about to change. Roberta knows her marriage to Scott isn't going anywhere, so she decides it's time to call it quits and get a divorce. This gives Octavia the chance to look at her own life as well. At her school reunion everyone is surprised how she is no longer as rebellious and adventurous as she was as a teenager. And why isn't she? Does Octavia really lead the life she wants, or is there perhaps more she is longing for...?
Even though 'The Island Escape' didn't exactly turn out to be the read I was initially expecting it to be, I really enjoyed it and was once again convinced by Kerry Fisher's engaging writing style. Based on the blurb and title, I was expecting a story focused on an island romance and one main character, Octavia. However, the book actually focuses on two separate characters and their storylines, Octavia and her best friend Roberta, and the chapters are told from both of their perspectives. The characters are realistic and, therefore, flawed, and I was captivated by both Octavia and Roberta's story; interested to see what would happen to them and curious to find out whether they would manage to find what they are both looking for: happiness.
The first chapter of the book is set in a police cell and was one of the most fascinating beginnings I've come across for quite some time; I was immediately intrigued and wanted to read on. The book wasn't as light-hearted and romantic as I was expecting it to be; it deals with topics such as parenthood, friendship and finding happiness, and Kerry Fisher managed to do this true to her own style. Just like with her first novel, she surprised me once again, and I'm already looking forward to hearing more about her next work. Overall, I thought 'The Island Escape' was an engaging, realistic and entertaining women's fiction read; well-written and enjoyable from start to finish!