Friday, May 21, 2021

This Other Island by @EdwardsaEdward, a #BookReview


Then before I could ask any more questions, I was off, on my way to England, lost on a ship with others similar to me… And after fourteen days that felt like months – I was there, dressed in layers of clothes, thick socks and shiny new shoes, which didn’t take the cold away. So this was my strange new home…

When Yvette receives a call to say her estranged father Joe has been attacked in a seemingly random act of violence, she rushes to his side.

But when she arrives, she finds a man different to the larger-than-life father of her memories. Joe is broken, too scared to describe his attacker to the police, and seemingly haunted by memories of his past – memories he’s fought to suppress.

About the boat journey that brought him and his wife Dolina to their new home in a hostile and unwelcoming Britain – as part of the Windrush Generation. About the secrets left behind in St Lucia… And about the darkest secret of all – the one that he has carried with him since stepping off the boat that cool, wet August day.

As he fights for his life, he begs Yvette to find out what really happened on the last day of that crossing. Because, for forty years, Joe has believed that he killed a man. A man who had loved Dolina too. And who might hold the key to Yvette’s own story…

What follows is a heart-stopping debut novel about family, identity, secrets, lies, and the journeys that define us. It will grip you, challenge you, and ultimately break you into a thousand pieces. Perfect for fans of Small Island and Girl, Woman, Other.

My thoughts:

Usually I stick very close to the mystery/thriller genre, and I love a British cozy mystery with strong female leads. THE OTHER ISLAND was quite a leap from what I normally read. What started out as an attack on an older man sets the scene for the book, but this is as close as the book gets to a typical mystery.

The mystery comes in as the book goes on and the main character's father is dying and requests that she look for a man named Joe from many years ago. And it builds from there but not in the way you might expect.

Well, most questions are answered, at least one is not. I don't want to draw attention to this specifically and potentionally spoil the book for anyone. Know it's a rather minor point and didn't affect my overall enjoyment.

THE OTHER ISLAND really is a story of self-discovery. There's also a message that I took away and that being no one else, even family, defines us as an individual. Though we all crave belonging and a sense of family, we have the choice whether we give our power to other people or not.

I received an advanced reading copy of this book for honest review. Thank you to the author, Bookouture, and NetGalley.

Available from popular retailers including Amazon Canada.