Book Review: Stranded by Emily Barr

It was meant to be a trip to Paradise...
Bruised from the breakdown of her marriage, Esther Lomax needs to get away and hopes Malaysia's unspoilt shores will provide the space and time alone she seeks.
But a day's boat trip takes a desperate turn when Esther, along with six other holiday makers, is deposited on an uninhabited island, their guide promising to pick them up in an hour's time.
Only, he doesn't come back: not an hour later, not two, not even the next day. Before long, the dreadful reality of the situation hits the group: they have no way of getting back to the mainland and they know nothing about each other. As tensions erupt, secrets emerge and time begins to run out, Esther must ask herself the ultimate question, will she leave the island alive?
I love Emily Barr's last novel, The First Wife so I had high expectations of Stranded. I am pleased to report that my expectations were met, I couldn't put Stranded down and my romantic notion of a deserted island has been blown apart!
In Emily Barr's books, nothing is ever as it seems, characters are often hiding something and the plot has you guessing what will happen next.
Esther Lomax goes to Malaysia to get her head together after her divorce. She leaves her daughter Daisy at home and she is the sole reason that she wants to return in one piece; she wants to be able to prove to Daisy that she can be the mother that she deserves. A day trip to a deserted island turns into Esther's worst nightmare when the guide does not return to pick up her and the other travellers. However idyllic looking the island is, the reality is horrendous, they have to pull together in order to survive, their hope of being rescued, fading every day.
I don't want to give the story away but Emily Barr delivers a beautifully sinister plot, the ending took me completely by surprise, I loved that it wasn't predictable in any way.
Stranded is an excellent read, Emily Barr has a writing style that draws you in, her characters are flawed and believable and you quickly become engrossed in the story she is telling. Highly recommended.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 5/5

Many thanks to the lovely people at Headline for sending me a copy of the book to review, Stranded is out now.


Kim said...

I really must look out for this book, it sounds fascinating. I have been to some remote islands off Malaysia and Thailand and cannot imagine how anyone could survive there for days, especially when the bottled water runs out!
Thank you for a great review, Dot. Looking forward to your reviews in 2013

Dot said...

Kim- I shall send it you with my next letter! It was a really good read! xx

Nikki-ann said...

Sounds like a fantastic read! I'll have to add this one to my list. Great review, as always :)

Dot said...

Thanks Nikki!

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