Anna, a thirty-year old teacher and T.J., who's she's tutoring over the holidays are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when their pilot suffers a fatal heart attack and their sea-plane crash-lands in the Indian ocean.
Marooned on an uninhabited island, Anna and T.J. must work together to obtain water, food, fire and shelter. But as the days turn to weeks, then months and then to years, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who, with each passing day, is becoming more of a man...
T.J. and Anna are marooned on a desert island when their pilot suffers a heart attack. Initially they are certain that they will be rescued but days turn into weeks, months and then years. They only have each other and obviously a particularly strong bond is formed but a fourteen year age gap is quite a big hurdle to get over, no matter how strong each others feelings are.
It's very hard to review this book without giving too much away but I really want to emphasise how much I enjoyed it. Each chapter is either from Anna or T.J.'s perspective which is a brilliant idea as we get to know them both really well and gain an insight into what they are thinking and more importantly what they are hiding from each other.
On the Island was such a different read, it is part adventure and part love story. I was completely captivated by Anna and T.J. and how they would survive.
The only slight criticism I have of this book is the front cover. If I were to see it in a shop then I may not have picked it up as it gives the impression of something much more light hearted. So don't let the cover put you off as what's inside is truly excellent.
Dot Scribbles Rating 4.5/5
Many thanks to Michael Joseph for sending me a copy of the book to review, On the Island is out now!
The very lovely Tracey Garvis Graves answered some of my questions, here's what she had to say:
1. Where did the idea for On the Island come from?
I loved the movie Castaway but could never quite wrap my head around a relationship between a man and a volleyball. I couldn't help but think how interesting the desert island premise could become if there were two people on the island. Two people that really shouldn't have a relationship.
2. The film rights have been sold which is very exciting, will you be involved at all?
Sadly, no. I do have a clause in my contract that gives me veto power if they try to insert any elements that really don't fit with the storyline (I've interpreted that to mean the addition of aliens or dinosaurs or something equally as silly!).
3. If you were marooned on a desert island, what three objects couldn't you live without?
A book (I'd prefer my Kindle but there wouldn't be anywhere to plug it in!), a picture of my family, and a satellite phone so I could call for rescue.
4. I loved the characters of T.J. and Anna, do you think they would have fallen in love anyway, without the shared experience of the crash and the island etc?
No, I really don't. It was the crash and being marooned - and relying solely on each other - that allowed them to form such a bond. Age was irrelevant on the island; there were no societal norms in place.
5. Can you tell us anything about your next book?
Covet is the title of my next book. It's my first foray into upmarket women's fiction (but it will still have plenty of romance). It's the story of a married couple's struggles after the husband loses his job in the recession. It's a story of hope and heartbreak and though it is ultimately uplifting, you should have your Kleenex box handy.