31 May 2015
Blog Tour: Book Review: The Island Escape by Kerry Fisher
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…?"
You can buy The Island Escape as a paperback or an eBook now.
I was pleased to be invited on the blog tour of Kerry Fisher's new novel The Island Escape. I received a lovely picnic this week from the publishers to celebrate the book being published, and a copy of the book. I couldn't wait to start the book, it had a gorgeously summery cover and sounded exactly my sort of read. I hadn't read anything by Kerry before so was excited to discover a new author and give it a chance. I'm pleased that I did because I thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters - this is a great summer read.
Octavia is surprised at how her life has ended up. From the rebellious punk-haired teenager at school, she's settled down as a nursery teacher with 3 children and is happily married to her husband Jonathan. But when things start to fall apart and she feels more and more unhappy, her thoughts return to her past on the island of Corsica and her relationship with her ex Xavi. As well as juggling her own unhappiness, she's looking after her best friend Roberta, whose marriage to Scott is at an end too. Roberta seems unable to function without her abusive husband and Octavia is determined to make her friend see sense...
First of all, I was a bit surprised that it took until pretty much the last quarter of the book for the book to travel to the island referenced in the title. I was expecting the story to be set on an island, but then again I suppose it was an escape for it to happen how it did. I was a little bit disappointed by this however, which is what stopped the book from being a 5* read for me. I did love the parts set in both Sardinia and Corsica. I've never been to either but Fisher describes both beautifully, you can understand why Octavia was drawn there again and loved it so much. Corsica especially sounded wonderful, and it was a nice escape to read about somewhere warm and sunny!
The characters in this book were very believable, but I struggled to understand their actions throughout the book. Roberta finally does leave her husband after one particular incident, but I couldn't fathom why she put up with what she did for so long. She seemed quite weak as a woman, very reliant on others to prop herself up and I did struggle to warm to her throughout the book. I felt she did redeem herself towards the end of the book but by then I was already struggling to feel anything for her because of her actions previously. Octavia on the other hand, I did warm to. She worked full time at her nursery, ran a household and looked after a pretty hopeless husband, if truth be told. I could see why she felt undervalued, and why her thoughts kept straying to her past love, even if it wasn't really the right thing for her to do.
The book is several tales of complicated love, and what happens when that love falls apart. Both women are different in terms of lifestyle, relationships and outlook on life, but their friendship was what helps them through their tough times. I was really absorbed by this read, wanting to carry on late into the night to finish it, which I did! Both Octavia and Roberta are great characters to read about, and you end up wondering what drives them to accept what they do, and act as they do. I really enjoyed Fisher's writing, the story was thoroughly enjoyable and I am looking forward to reading more from Kerry Fisher - this is a great summer read, and definitely recommended!