The Island

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Author: Elin Hilderbrand
ISBN: 978-034-091984-2
RRP: $32.99

The Island is Hilderbrands ninth  novel, and sure to become her next New York Times bestseller. She is a new author to me, and one I am thrilled to have discovered. Her writing has an easy flow that drags you in and carries you away with her. A book that I found very difficult to put down. Even when I couldn’t keep my eyes open I managed to keep my hands in the book.

The Island is a novel of family, of love and of heartbreak. A story that brings a family back together over miles, over years and over countless jealousies stored between sisters.  A story set in the present that really has no beginning, that shows how some histories do repeat until someone has the strength of will and courage to break the cycle.

the island

The summer  before Chess Cousins is due to get married her mother wants to spend a last two weeks with her in the family house on Tuckernuck island. A house that’s been in the family for generations and featured in lifetimes worth of happy memories. A house that has sat empty, and waiting, for 13 yrs for its family to come back and inhabit it once more. As is often the way, things don’t quite go to plan; so the Tuckernuck trip grows to a month and includes Chess’ sister and her aunt.

The four Tate women, none of them actually bearing the name, set off together for Tuckernuck island – where there are none of the creature comforts any of them are accustomed to. All four women are running away from their private issues and hoping the month on Tuckernuck will bring them together and allow them to share in the pain of the others. We see the family dynamics in their extreme and all of the women grow through their pain.

Each woman brings with her a deep sense of what life on Tuckernuck is and a distinct set of emotions that Tuckernuck evokes. The one thing Tuckernuck does for all of the Tate women is bring a simplicity and break down the complications. Maybe it’s the simple lifestyle, maybe it’s the family history and overwhelming sense of home. The month on Tuckernuck is the catalyst everyone needs to move past the hurdles, to exorcise their past and step boldly into their future. This was always the plan, through togetherness and talking and sharing, in the end there wasn’t a lot of talking but the end result was the same.

The Island is written from the perspective of each of the four women so it jumps around a little and sometimes repeats blocks of time as seen through the eyes of more than one of our lead characters; which is interesting to see how different things can be depending on your perspective.

A beautiful story that will tug your heartstrings and give your empathy muscles a major workout. Any woman who grew up with sisters will relate to this story and understand that even through the unbreakable bond of love there is a deep-seated jealousy, even though there are times you want nothing more than to disown your sisters they are the ones dearest to your heart. Even when you are far apart and don’t seem to understand each other when the need arises you know they will always be there.

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