today’s our stop on Kerry Fisher‘s blog tour for her latest release, ‘The Island Escape’. Read on for our review and a little extract from the book. ‘The Island Escape’ is sure a delightful book and this summer’s must read! Links to order are bellow so you wouldn’t miss out on this brilliant beach read. Many thanks to MidasPR and Avon UK for the opportunity to be part of this epic blog tour.
Can one woman’s marriage survive her best friend’s divorce? Fans of Veronica Henry and Erica James, this is the next book to add to your reading list.
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…?
*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
‘The Island Escape’ is the second novel by Ms Fisher and one I’ve been really looking forward to reading. I love the blurb and think the cover is so gorgeous and summery.
I’ll start by saying the blurb though great is slightly misleading, leading you to think the book is about Octavia Shelton, now married with children but once a real rebel and adventurer. This book is also as much of a story about Roberta, who’s going through some rough time. I was slightly confused thinking I got the blurb wrong, because I certainly was expecting a story about a women who wants to reinvent herself and start living her life to the fullest. I didn’t expect a wonderful and layered story about two friends, who’re trying to get their lives straight all while being always there for each other.
However, this turned out to be even better than I was hoping for. I absolutely loved both stories and despite not always approving Roberta and Octavia’s choices, I certainly rooted for them from the beginning. Roberta was always the more mature and the serious type of girl. After years of investing in her marriage, even giving up on her career, she’s come to the point where divorce seems like a best solution. Octavia on the other hand, appears to have the perfect marriage even though no one expected that rebel of a girl to settle so early and give birth to three kids. Octavia and Roberta have been friends for about two decades, sharing the good and bad in their lives and always supporting each other.
It was indeed a great experience to read about such amazing friends and I really loved the fact the book features two mature ladies in their forties. However, there were some points in the book where I had my doubts about their choices, knowing they are adults who in my opinion should have managed some situations differently. I don’t want to judge anyone, even fictional characters, but I must admit there were times when I wanted to give both Octavia and Roberta a good shake. Being a mother myself, I could really understand their sacrifices, the ones every mother would make, willing to patch their marriage for the sake of their kid/s. The book took me on a real roller coaster, one moment making me sympathize for both of them, and the next being simply thrown off to a completely new direction wondering what the hell are these ladies doing.
But despite not always agreeing with their choices, I truly cared for Octavia and Roberta and even envied them on their relationship and the strong bond they nurtured for years. They seem like ladies I would love to hang out with, talking about our kids, what they’re going through in school and each of our little daily troubles. They seem like genuine awesome friends I wish I had in my life.
I can’t say who I like best though, Octavia or Roberta. I really tried to analyze them and one minute I would feel like Roberta type, next I would recognize myself in Octavia. OK, so they make some poor choices, but don’t we all sometimes? And this is exactly the reason why they seemed real to me and was thoroughly interested in their stories and what will happen to them at the end. Will they get their happily ever afters? I was really cheering for them!
Despite talking about friendship, the book had a fair amount of romance too. My favorite male character was Jake, who in my opinion is one of the best male fictional characters I’ve ever read about. I certainly hope I will get to see him as well as the other characters in another book, simply because they are that fab. Especially Jake, he’s such an amazing person and cares deeply about his loved ones.
Overall, this was truly an enjoyable read. I simply couldn’t put it down and was completely invested in the story. Ms Fisher is a remarkable author with a unique voice, and one I would certainly watch out for. Fantastic read you’ll devour in a sitting all while dreaming of exotic destinations. I absolutely recommend it!
My rating: 8/10
EXTRACT OF ‘THE ISLAND ESCAPE’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Peterborough, Kerry Fisher studied French and Italian at Bath University, followed by several years working as an English teacher in Corsica and Spain before topping the dizzying heights of holiday rep and grape picker in Tuscany. She eventually succumbed to ‘getting a proper job’ and returned to England to study Periodical Journalism at City University. After two years working in the features department at Essentials magazine in London, love carried her off to the wilds of the West Pennine moors near Bolton. She now lives in Surrey with her husband (of whisking off to Bolton fame), two teenagers and a very naughty lab/schnauzer called Poppy. Kerry can often be seen trailing across the Surrey Hills whistling and waving pieces of chicken while the dog practises her ‘talk to the tail’.
Kerry has spent half her life talking about writing a novel, then several years at Candis magazine reviewing other people’s but it wasn’t until she took some online courses with the UCLA (University of California) that the dream started to morph into reality, culminating in the publishing of The Class Ceiling. The Avon imprint of HarperCollins picked it up and retitled it The School Gate Survival Guide, published summer 2014. Her second book, The Island Escape, came out in May 2015. It won first prize at the York Festival of Writing for the opening line: ‘I was wearing the wrong bra for sitting in a police cell’.
Best advice ever received: ‘This is fiction, we can skip the boring bits.’ Lynn Hightower, UCLA Writers’ Program.