I so enjoyed Libby Page’s last novel, The 24 Hour Cafe, and when I heard that her new book was going to be set on a tiny, fictional, Scottish island I couldn’t wait to read that too. I love books set on islands! The Island Home is the story of Lorna, who left her childhood home for the mainland when she was just 18 and never went back, having barely any contact with her parents, brother or friends for the next twenty years. She has built a life for herself and her daughter Ella in London where she works as a deputy headteacher. There’s always just been the two of them, a small life but a safe one. Now, she is returning to the island where she will meet her brother Jack for the first time in years and also her sister-in-law, Alice, and her niece, Molly, who she has never met.
Sometimes island settings can be used to create a sense of claustrophobia, sometimes they can seem wild or isolated. The feeling I got from Kip though was that it was a beautiful and welcoming place of sanctuary. When Lorna was young it had not seemed a safe place, but she is warmly welcomed back into the community. This actually makes her feel quite unsettled having mostly bad memories and uncomfortable associations with the island.
I loved reading about all the different kinds of connection in the book. The connection to family and to friends old and new, the connection to the past and the connection to place. Libby Page has created a community full of wonderful characters who are so grounded, welcoming and supportive. For all the story unfurls gently, it’s not without some mystery, intrigue and drama.
The Island Home is quietly compelling and often poignant. It’s a beautifully written story of second chances and new beginnings.
Thanks to the publishers for my review copy via Netgalley. The Island Home is published by Orion and available to buy or order from your usual book retailer. Or you will find buying links for various retailers on the Orion website here: The Island Home
From the back of the book
Lorna’s world is small but safe.
She loves her daughter, and the two of them is all that matters. But after nearly twenty years, she and Ella are suddenly leaving London for the Isle of Kip, the tiny remote Scottish island where Lorna grew up.
Alice’s world is tiny but full.
She loves the community on Kip, her yoga classes drawing women across the tiny island together. Now Lorna’s arrival might help their family finally mend itself – even if forgiveness means returning to the past…
So with two decades, hundreds of miles and a lifetime’s worth of secrets between Lorna and the island, can coming home mean starting again?
About the Author
Libby Page is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lido and The 24-Hour Café. The Island is her third novel. Before becoming an author, she worked in journalism and marketing. She is a keen outdoor swimmer and lives in London with her husband. Follow Libby on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @libbypagewrites.