Novel set in Sardinia, Corsica and Surrey (the marital merry-go-round)
- Book: The Island Escape
- Location: Corsica, Sardinia
- Author: Kerry Fisher
Octavia and Roberta, two best friends, are settled in the South of England. Roberta is married to Scott, a tremendously successful man, with all the trappings of wealth and status. Octavia is married to Jonathan, a plodder in many respects, pernickety, a bit on the OCD spectrum. Average lives…. Roberta is, however, in an abusive relationship and the author wonderfully renders the iniquitous creep of the undermining behaviour, and the power and mind games. Octavia is the practical one, she runs a nursery, has three children and gets on with life.
Roberta summons the courage to leave Scott, fully supported by Octavia. But in any friendship group, when a couple splits up, the ripple effect can often be felt far and wide. And thus it is that Octavia becomes acutely aware of Jonathan’s habits, quirks and frustrations, which lead her to think about her first big love, Xavi, a Corsican, whom she met when she was teaching on the island of Corsica. It ended years ago, well before she met Jonathan, but she still struggles with a sense of lingering unfinished business; increasingly thoughts of him come to preoccupy her mind.
To add to their woes, Jonathan loses his job and becomes maudlin and ever more picky. But a mutual friend eventually offers him a contract on the island of Sardinia, which is within spitting distance of Corsica. And both Jonathan and Octavia perk up, but for different reasons. When Octavia is offered the chance to accompany Jonathan on one of his frequent trips, she jumps at the chance, not only purportedly to spend quality time with Jonathan but also perhaps to pursue an encounter with Xavi….
Love is certainly in the air, tempered with the routine of daily life. For Roberta, she makes a new start and rebuilds her life after the damaging period with Scott. And what of Octavia? To find out how her story pans out, you must buy the book!
An engaging book, the scene is beautifully set, describing parallel lives of two very different women. The author is adept at describing the humdrum of daily life in a thoroughly absorbing way. About halfway through the story plateaus a little but gains momentum again when the action shifts to the two islands off Italy. Corsica in particular gets a nice write-up in the novel and many places will feel familiar if you know the island. And over on Sardinia you will definitely be left wanting to try sa carapigna ice cream made from lemons and sugar.
An enjoyable Summer read.
This review first appeared on our blog – and the author shares her thoughts about location and photos