Published by HarperCollins on March 1, 2021
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Bookshop
You wake on a beautiful, remote island.
Sparkling blue seas, golden sunsets, barely a footprint in the sand.
Yet this is no ordinary escape.
Next to the wreck of a plane, a stranger paces. Another sharpens a knife, scoring a list of the dead onto a palm tree. Others watch from the shadows of a campfire – all with untold stories, and closely-guarded secrets...
This is no ordinary holiday.
This is no ordinary island.
This is no ordinary beach read.
Wow! What a book! This was my first book by Lucy Clarke and what an amazing book it was!
Erin and Lori are meant to be having the holiday of a lifetime together, instead the night before they have a row and Erin misses her flight. The plane never makes it to it’s destination.
“For so long I believed that I should only feel pleasure when I no longer feel all the other things: the sadness, the loss, the fear. But emotions don’t come parcelled neatly. They’re shaken together and messy. Happiness laced with sadness. Hope tangled with fear. Love shadowed by loss. It isn’t about waiting until I’m in a better place. Striving for a happy life. It’s about feeling life.”
This is a dual timeline, dual perspective novel. Told from the POV of Erin, 2 years after the plane which was carrying her sister disappered and from the POV of Lori, in the time on the island after the plane has crashed (there is a small amount of the novel covering before the disappearance but all the action takes place afterwards).
Two years after the plane disappears Erin is still looking for her sister, she is sure that she’s still alive, surely she’d feel it if she were dead? She’s also sure that someone is hiding something. Now, I’m not saying that Erin is obsessive but she’s dedicated her spare room walls to the discovery of her sister. I think as well as having been close to her sister and missing her, wanting to know what happened, there is also some survivors guilt in there. Erin should have been on that plane. If Lori is dead, they should have died together, if she’s still alive then maybe whatever predicament she’s in could have been lessened if Erin were with her.
I love how the reader always knows slightly more than the characters, but at the same time, we don’t know everything. I found that I was completely immersed into their world and desperate to know what had happened. Had Lori survived, if so, why hadn’t she made contact with her sister?
“You know that feeling when you read a good book, and you’re totally transported to the world within those pages? Your imagination has travelled there – and yet your body is not fooled: it knows you haven’t left the sofa.”
As a reader we know that Lori survived, the plane crashed and she was on an uninhabited island with the other survivors from the plane. She narrates the first month after the crash. But we’re at 2 years later. What has happened in the mean time? Has her name been carved into the tree showing those on the plane who didn’t survive?