Lead Review (The Island of Mists and Miracles)

  • Book: The Island of Mists and Miracles
  • Location: Île de Batz
  • Author: Victoria Mas

Review Author: tripfiction




Set on the Ile de Batz, at the northern tip of Finistère in Britanny, this short novel is a gentle and the crisply told tale of a close-knit community. Sister Anne arrives (in the company of a chain-smoking companion, also a nun), anticipating a vision of the Virgin Mary, not by her (as she had hoped) but by a young member of the community, as it transpires.

The islanders have their own relationships and concerns, and the author renders their lives in palpable detail as they go about their daily business, managing their relationships and keeping a wary eye on earthquakes that seem to be plaguing the vicinity – these, of course, presage the pivotal event. Naturally the vision causes a ripple effect to spread across the community and as the world descends on the islanders, festering grievances come to the fore, propelling the inhabitants into new and uncharted territories.

An engaging, short read, that is beautifully translated by Frank Wynne.

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