“I was wearing the wrong bra for sitting in a police cell.” As opening sentences go, this is certainly attention grabbing and reflects the witty charm of this book! I really enjoyed this story of friendship, love and second chances. It was a bit different than I had expected from the synopsis though. It’s not just about Octavia but is equally as much about her friend Roberta. The story is told in parallel chapters from both women’s points of view. The actual visit to the islands, Sardinia and Corsica, doesn’t feature until quite far on in the second half of the book, although Octavia is thinking longingly of a return to Corsica for a large part of the story. It was there that she fell in love with Xavi and she has never forgotten him. She is feeling frustrated in her present-day life with a safe, predictable marriage to Jonathan, a fulltime job and three children to look after. She wonders what happened to the reckless, spontaneous person she used to be and to all the plans she had and begins to wonder, what if? Her best friend since school, Roberta, is just getting out of her marriage to domineering Scott and beginning to fulfill some of the dreams she has had on hold for some time. She is also beginning to explore the possibilites of new love. She seems to have so many opportunities opening up for her and this is what makes Octavia discontent and wishing she could turn back time.
This is very much a book about the friendship between the two women. They have known each other for years, know almost all there is to know about each other’s history and are a huge support to each other in good times and bad. But there are still tensions and jealousies between them which come to the fore during this story. I felt the author explored the strains between them very realistically. I could really identify with Octavia and Roberta being of a similar age (okay a few years older, but just a few!) and having teenage children with all the happiness and challenges they bring. It is also about love in its different forms – be it passionate and romantic or safe and steady, love between family and friends, first love and new love and how that feels.
This is the first Kerry Fisher book I have read but it won’t be the last. A hugely enjoyable read by an author who can really explore all kinds of relationships and emotions in her writing in an in-depth, believable and enjoyable way.
My thanks to Netgalley and Avon books for the review copy. Published in paperback and ebook format on 21 May 2015.
You can buy The Island Escape from Amazon here.
What the book is about:
Can one woman’s marriage survive her best friend’s divorce? 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…?