Lead Review (Lost in Ibiza)

  • Book: Lost in Ibiza
  • Location: Ibiza
  • Author: Rebecca Frayn

Review Author: tripfiction



Lost in Ibiza by Rebecca Frayn, novel set on Ibiza.

Novel set on IBIZA

The novel is set in the northern part of the island, away from the more touristy south. The author shares her familiarity of the island with readers and creates a very credible and colourful backdrop for her story.

In a rather grand house, with watered lawns, plunge and lap pools and all mod cons, William is being feted by his wife, Cressida, marking his 50th birthday with a bash scheduled for the next evening that really has everything. An absolute circus of busyness has descended on the finca, where guests have retreated to the pool or the yacht, and the live-in concierge couple – Mary and Rene from the Philippines – try to juggle the catering staff and deliveries, whilst putting final touches to the rooms and gardens.

Alice bowls up causing a ripple of shock, because she is a daughter he sired a couple of decades ago, and who was brought up by her mother and her husband. Some time after her mother’s death (who died when Alice was a little girl) she was told that her biological father was the very William having a party and here she is, arriving in the midst of chaos.

William takes time out of the preparations to show Alice the estate and it is already clear that her commitment to environmental issues is at odds with the life he has created here for his family, where no consideration has been given to green issues. He does lip service to her aspirations for the world, whilst keeping a beady, greedy eye out for his next property development project. The two find themselves pitched together for several hours, away from the mêlée of the party venue, leaving Cressida gnashing her teeth as she comes to understand that Alice was conceived whilst William and Cressida were in the early days of their relationship.



This is an elegantly written novel (that just on occasion feels a little overwritten), which juxtaposes the lives of several people, setting them against the backdrop of a grand and evolving party landscape. The author runs a regenerative farm on the island and you can hear her passion for the environment through the embodiment of Alice. William and Cressida are a crass couple who epitomise all the frivolous and damaging wealth of people who put themselves and their interests above all else, whilst doing lip service to the green cause. She also raises the question of economic migrants, who labour for their masters and family, whilst separated from their own family and the attitudes around that.

The narrative moves along at a good pace, it’s informative about the island and its history, and the style makes this a very readable novel.

The novel is billed as having ‘humour’, but that perhaps wasn’t stand-out for me – a character has forgotten their sunglasses and rushes to retrieve them as they are ‘the symbol of new ideas and courageous self-expression born as wearable tech..“; and a Braun Oral-B Pro 6500 gets repurposed for something even more intimate than teeth cleaning. These examples of humour felt a bit gratuitous, given the author is sufficiently competent in her writing skills and doesn’t need lightweight oddities to pep up the prose, and, which ultimately didn’t really add anything.

I found the novel very readable and immersive and evocative of Ibiza.

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